Two North Korean women defend titles

Updated: October 21, 2005, 11:36 AM ET

PYONGYANG, North Korea -- Two North Korean women successfully defended their boxing titles on Friday against an American and a Mexican in rare professional bouts held in the reclusive communist state.

The KCNA news agency said North Korea's World Boxing Council Females (WBCF) bantamweight Kim Kwang-ok won an unanimous decision over Mexico's Yazmin Rivas as did super-flyweight Ryu Myong-ok against American Alicia Ashley.

Kim and Ryu were defending titles won at the first professional fights staged in the North Korean capital in June.

The bouts were held at a gymnasium built by South Korean company Hyundai Asan.

Pyeonghwa Motors, the promotor of the event, is seeking to expand its operations in North Korea and already operates an automaking venture and tours for South Koreans.