In late October we reported that former Japanese Light Welterweight champion Hiroki Okada (16-0, 11) [岡田 博喜] would be back in action on December 19th in a bout againt Filipino fighter Jason Pagara (40-2-1, 25) for the WBO Asia Pacific Light Welterweight title. It now seems that Okada's future plans, beyond Pagara, are now also being set with the IBF ordering the unbeaten fighter from the Kadoebi Gym to begin negotiations with unbeaten Belorussian Ivan Baranchyk (17-0, 10).
Okada is ranked #7 by the IBF and Baranchyk is ranked #4, with the winner of their bout likely to become one of the leading contenders to fight for the title. They will have until December 6th to negotiate the contest, which is just under 2 weeks from the date of the Okada/Pagara bout, and may well see the IBF extend the negotiating period given the date of Okada's previously scheduled bout.
Baranchyk was a former amateur stand out who has looked devastating since turning professional in 2014. He began his career with back to back decisions before stopping 10 of 11 oppoenents, and genuinely blitzing foes with 6 opening round wins. In his last 4 bouts his power has been questioned, having gone the schedule in each of his last 4 bouts, but he is an aggressive and destructive fighter.
Okada on the other hand has been quietly going about things in Japan. He won his first 7 by stoppage before claiming the Japanese Light Welterweight title in 2014, with a decision win over Masayoshi Kotake. After defending the title 6 times he vacated it and began to move towards bigger bouts. This is a big step up for him,but has shown the skills to go a long way if he can just up his work rate and let his hands flow a bit more than he has in recent bouts, including competitive bouts with Cristiano Aoqui and Valentine Hosokawa.
The winner of the Baranchyk Vs Okada bout would, potentially face the winner of a bout between current champion Sergey Lipinets (13-0, 10) and big name American Adrien Broner (33-3-0-1, 24).
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Later today we'll see Sergey Lipinets (12-0, 10) and Akihiro Kondo (29-6-1, 16) [近藤 明広] face off for the IBF Light Welterweight title, which is currently vacant. The bout will be the first world title bout for both men, and will see Kondo fighting outside of Japan for the first time in his career.
The bout is on a big enough stage for bookies to price it up and unsurprisingly it's the unbeaten Kazakh who is viewed as the clear favourite, with manty bookmakers pricing him at 1/25 to win the bout and become the new IBF champion. For Kondo the odds are around 10/1, though one bookmaker has got him priced as high as 15/1 to win the bout and become a rare Japanese champion at 140lbs. The draw has been priced at 35/1 by one bookie, whilst others have it available at 33/1..
There is a bit more value in the method of victory market, with Lipinet's priced at 1/2 to stop Kondo, who has never been stopped before and has always seemed like a tough and rugged type of fighter. Lipinet's by decision is is a very attractive 2/1 with most bookies. A stoppage for the Japanese fighters is a huge 20/1 whilst Kondo by decision is a massive 35/1, with no one seemingly expecting that outcome.
The over/under for the bout's total rounds has been widely set at 8.5 rounds. The ocer is available at 10/11 whlst the under is available at evens, suggesting the bookmakers are fancying a stoppage by Lipinets in the later stages of the fight. Interestingly Lipents has only scored one stoppage win after 9.5 rounds, though has 2 stopages in bout rounds 7 and round 8.
Lipinets and Kondo set for war to claim IBF gold!
Later today we'll see a new IBF Light Welterweight champion being crowned, as Sergey Lipinets (12-0, 10) and Akihiro Kondo (29-6-1, 16) [近藤 明広] battle for the vacant title. The bout, on the under-card of a big US card, hasn't had much international coverage yet could be one of the stand out bouts of the day.
Yesterday the two men took part in their weigh in for the contest, and both came in under the limit for the bout.
On the scales the Kazakh born Lipinets was the heavier man, coming in at 139.7lbs, and looked in fantastic shape with a serious look on his face. Japan's Kondo was 139.5lbs at the weigh in, and looked in equally good shape.
This bout will be the first world title bout for both men, though it comes at very different stages in their careers. For the 32 year old Kondo the bout will be his 37th and comes after more than 11 years after his professional debut. As for Lipinets the bout comes less than 4 years after his debut, and shows the incredibly quick career progression than he has had, at the age of 28.
Lipinets and Kondo set for war to claim IBF gold!
(Image courtesy of boxingscene.com)
Earlier today Japanese sources informed us that the proposedday for the IBF Light Welterweight bout between Sergey Lipinets (12-0, 10) and Akihiro Kondo (29-6-1, 16) [近藤 明広] could fall on November 4th as part of the supporting card for the WBC Heavyweight title bout between Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz.
The Lipinets/Kondo bout hasn't definately got a home on the card, but sources suggest that it's very likely to be added to the show as the key supporting bout and could be announced in the next week or so.
The bout was ordered after Terence Crawford (32-0, 23) chose to vacate the title, rather than have rushed negotiations with mandatory challenger Sergey Lipinets (12-0, 10). The unbeaten American unified all 4 titles recently and has indicated his desire to move up in weight, which will leave a scramble for the Light Welterweight titles, and it seems like the situation with the IBF will be th first to be sorted, with the Lipinets/Kondo bout looking like it's now a done deal.
Interestingly sources have suggested the bout will be featured on Showtime as part of a triple header, along with the ring return of Danny Jacobs.
Yesterday we reported on the possibility of an IBF Light Welterweight title bout between Sergey Lipinets (12-0, 10) and Akihiro Kondo (29-6-1, 16) [近藤 明広]. Now, over-night, that bout has taken a huge step towards becoming a reality with with the IBF ordering the two men to negotiate a contest for the vacant title.
The title, which was given up by American star Terence Crawford after he unifed all 4 major belts, is expected to be the first of 4 titles that will become available in the coming weeks, as Crawford turns his attention on becoming a 3-weight champion and campaigning at Welterweight.
Lipinets had been promised a world title fight a while back, but due to back-to-back unifications his shot keptgetting delayed. With all the titles being unified the Kazakh couldn't have his shot delayed any further and a purse bid for a fight with Crawford loomed.
Although it's not yet clear where a Lipinets Vs Kondo bout would take place, it does seem likely that any purse bid would be won Lipinets' team and that could force the bout Stateside, where it could act as a secondary title bout on a notable show.
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