Earlier today it was announced that former Japanese Welterweight champion Suyon Takayama (23-1, 7) [高山 樹延] would be fighting in OPBF interim Welterweight title bout on February 23rd. Unfortunately an inability to secure a bout with "full" champion Jack Brubaker (9-1-1, 4) has seen Takayama matched with with Filipino veteran Joel Dela Cruz (19-23-3, 7), who has fought in a number of lesser title fights including an interim PABA title bout back in 2011.
The once beaten Takayama will be fighting for the first time since vacating the Japanese title, which he defended 6 times in the space of 3 years. He'll be looking to claim the title and record his 12th straight win.
For de la Cruz this is a huge opportunity and one that comes following a 2 fight winning streak, though those wins did come after an 0-11-1 run. The Filipino, who has regularly been fighting in Australia, is a well travelled fighter having fought in Thailand, China, South Africa, his native Philippines and Japan, where he is 0-2 following losses to Yoshihiro Kamegai and Takashi Inagaki.
The bout does look like a mismatch but De la Cruz will see the big opportunity as a bout that could really boost his career.
In addition this card will also feature a very tasty under-card bout between Yuichiro Kasuya (8-0, 1) [粕谷 雄一郎] and Kazuma Sanpei (12-2, 4) [三瓶 数馬], both of whom have won Rookie of the Year.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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