We've known for a while that former multi-time world champion Katsunari Takayama (27-7-0-1, 10) would be battling against Go Odaira (11-3-3, 1) in an all Japanese bout for the IBF Minimumweight title. What we weren't sure on was the date or the specifics, though it had been strongly hinted that the bout would take place on December 31st in Osaka at the Bodymaker Colosseum.
It seems that that rumour was confirmed recently by the fact that ticket booking website eplus.jp is selling tickets for the Osaka card which lists the bout between Takayama and Odaira as well as the two bouts we've already had confirmed for the show involving Kazuto Ioka (15-1, 9), who fights Jean Piero Perez (20-7-1, 14), and Sho Ishida (17-0, 9), who defends his Japanese Super Flyweight title against Masato Morisaki (9-3-1, 5).
The website also states that Ryo Miyazaki (21-1-3, 12) will be on the card, as previously confirmed, alongside fellow Ioka gym fighter Takahiro Yamamoto (14-3, 11).
Although this is the strongest hint so far that the bout has been agreed it's not actual confirmation. We're now expecting that to come on Tuesday after Takayama's mentor, Hiroaki Nakade, stated that a press conference was set for tomorrow. We suspect that that will be to confirm the bout as being agreed.
Earlier today saw the pre-fight press conference before this weekend's Minimumweight super fight between IBF champion Katsunari Takayama (27-6-0-1, 10) and WBO champion Francisco Rodriguez Jr (14-2, 10).
The press conference saw both men showing respect to the other with comments about the other man's ability in the ring. It seemed clear they knew their own strengths and the strengths of their opponents and both promised a great fight, then again that was hardly promise they weren't going to make given heir respective styles.
Going into the fight Rodriguez will be looking to claim his second title in as many fights as he attempts to add the IBF belt to the WBO belt he ripped from Merlito Sabillo earlier this year. As for Takayama the Japanese fighter will be attempting to become the first Japanese fighter to complete a "Grandslam" of winning all 4 major titles.
One interesting thing that is worth noting, that no one else seems to have mentioned, is that Hiroaki Nakade is in Mexico with Takayama. He wasn't featured in any of the Zanfer pictures that were widely circulated but he was featured in a picture on Takayama's personal blog.
For many the issue surrounding Nakade is one they aren't aware of but Nakade is more than just Takayama's trainer and manage. Their relationship, for a long time, has been more like that of a father-and-son with Takayama often looking up to Nakade as a mentor-type person.
Last month there was a lot of worries over whether or not Nakade would travel to Mexico with Takayama as he actually had an aneurysm removed. The issue was reported in the Japanese media, and we referenced it, though many boxing site seem unaware of the situation. Had Nakade not been able to travel it would have been a huge loss for Takayama.
(Images courtesy of:
Zanfer Promotions and http://blog.livedoor.jp/lkid/)
Our Japanese sources have relayed that Hiroaki Nakade, the trainer of IBF Minimumweight champion Katsunari Takayama (27-6-0-1, 10) has had successful surgery for an aneurysm.
The surgery, which took place on Friday, was serious though from what we under-stand Mr Nakade has been given the green light to continue his work with Takayama and was in Osaka City today with Takayama who was at a supporter group meeting ahead of his huge upcoming fight with Mexico's Francisco Rodriguez Jr (14-2, 10).
There is still doubt as to whether or not Mr Nakade will be able to be with his charge for the Rodriguez bout, which will take place in Mexico on August 9th though we're just glad to see him out of hospital in seemingly good condition. Hopefully his recovery won't be too hard he'll be able to get back to his usual duties with "The Lighting Kid".
We've recently learned that Hiroaki Nakade, the mentor of IBF Minimumweight champion Katsunari Takayama (27-6-0-1, 10), will be going in to surgery in the coming weeks.
In May it was discovered that Mr Nakade was suffering from a brain aneurysm and as a result he will go into surgery on July 4th. Our thoughts all go out to the trainer who has been with Takayama since his debut, in fact the picture we've used here was from prior to Takayama's debut.
Whilst Mr Nakade is in hospital his charge will be trained by Kevin Yamazaki who will be doing his best to keep "The Lighting Kid" focused and in shape ahead of his fight with Francisco Rodriguez Jr (14-2, 10) in what will be an IBF/WBO title unification bout.
We expect that Takayama will not let down his trainer and will be going to Mexico with his full focus on winning the WBO title and becoming the first Japanese fighter to collect all 4 major titles in his career.
We hope you all join us in wishing Mr Nakade a quick recovery from his surgery. Some things are more important than boxing and health is one of them.
(Image courtesy http://www.l-kid.com)
In the US Freddie Roach has recently been awarded the "Eddie Futch" award as the best trainer in the eyes of the BWAA (Boxing Writers Association of America). In Japan we saw a similar award, the "Eddie Townsend" award, given to the excellent Hiroaki Nakade for his work in 2013.
Nakade, best known for his long and fruitful guidance of Katsunari Takayama, was a worthy winner given the way that Takayama's career really was revived in 2013 after a string of bad results and even the contemplation of retirement.
Much like Roach, Nakade has become synonymous with his most notable fighter. For Nakade that is Takayama, for Roach it's Manny Pacquiao, and maybe the biggest lesson here is that fighters who trust their trainer and stick with them get to the top no matter how hard the journey there is.
For those unaware about the Eddie Townsend award, it's been an annual award given to the best trainer in Japan since 1990 in memory of Townsend.
Townsend was born in 1914 and was half American and half Japanese trainer who created numerous champions. He is best known for being the man who guided 6 men to world titles, including Takeshi Fuji, Hiroyuki Ebihara, Guts Ishimatsu and Hiroki Ioka, who himself won the "Eddie Townsend" award in 2012.
Unfortunately Townsend died in 1988 though thankfully his name lives on courtesy of this award.
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