Japanese Minimumweight champion Go Odaira (11-3-3, 1) successfully retained his title yesterday with a clear and dominant win over first time title challenger Hiroya Yamamaoto (8-2, 3) on Wednesday. Whilst that won't be news to our regular readers, considering we told you that yesterday, what may be news to you is that Odaira's camp is in talks for a world title fight in the near future!
Odaira might not be one of the more famous names in Japan, in fact in his own division he's probably the 4th most famous behind former multi-time world champion Katsunari Takayama, OPBF champion Ryuji Hara and fast rising teenage star Kosei Tanaka, but he is a world ranked contender and a man who dreams for much more than just being the Japanese champion.
From what we understand Odaira's team have been in talks with IBF and WBO champion Francisco Rodriguez Jr, the man who recently beat Katsunari Takayama in a thrilling unification bout. Whilst Odaira would be a huge under-dog we do under stand why he would want the chance to prove himself against one of the best in the division, much like Akira Yaegashi did when he took on Roman Gonzalez. Win or lose it's still great to try and beat the best, something many fighters in world boxing seem to have ignored recently.
Currently ranked #6 by the IBF and #13 by the WBO we could Odaira faced a voluntary defense by the unified champion in early 2015. We'd certainly view the Japanese fighter as the under-dog though it would still be a fight we'd love to see, unless Takayama can get himself a rematch.
For what it's worth Odaira's management team does consist of a former world champion, former WBA Flyweight champion Susumu Hanagata. Like Odaira he too lacked power though over-came the odds in 1974 to defeat Thailand's great Chartchai Chionoi and maybe, just maybe Hanagata believes that Odaira can do the same and upset a top level fighter just like he did.
(Image courtesy of http://www.hanagata-gym.com/)
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