Those two announcements were nothing unexpected with rumours circulating for a while that Takayama was to vacate the WBO title and allow former sparring partner Kosei Tanaka (4-0, 2) to fight for the vacant WBO title. Now it seems that if Tanaka wins the plan is to reunify with an all-Japan bout between the two.
Although the timing for this possible bout wasn't clear it could well be a back up plan if Takayama cannot secure a bout with South African Hekkie Budler (28-1, 9), the current WBA champion. It's clear that Takayama would like the Budler fight but may well feel that that bout is looking some what more difficult to make than a bout with Tanaka,
Of course this possibly bout would depend on Tanaka claiming the WBO belt and for Takayama to be successful when he battles against Fahlan in April.
Katsunari Takayama vacates WBO title, will defend IBF belt on April 22nd as part of Ioka card!
Katsunari Takayama to defend IBF Minimumweight title against Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr on April 27th! (Now revealed to be April 22nd)
Kosei Tanaka Vs Julian Yedras for the WBO Minimumweight title?
Kosei Tanaka sparring with Katsunari Takayama ahead of Ryuji Hara bout
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)