The recent IBF general assembly was not only a chance to the IBF to talk about how great they were, how good 2014 is and trying to sort out the rest of 2015, but was also an opportunity to honour their fighters.
Two Japanese fighters were honoured at the assembly for their achievements in 2014.
One of those fighters honoured was IBF female Light Flyweight champion Naoko Shibata (14-3), who defended her title twice last year. From what we understand Shibata recorded more defenses of the IBF female title than any other fighter.
The other fighter honoured was the popular and exciting Katsunari Takayama (29-7-0-1, 11), who was awarded the "Fight of the Year" honour alongside Francisco Rodriguez Jr. That award came as a result of their brutal unification bout that many considered the best bout of the year. Although Takayama lost that contest his standing in the sport increased with a lot of western fans really taking note of the gutsy "Lightning Kid" who later went on to claim the IBF and WBO titles to become Japan's first "Grandslam" champion.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
For those who misses Takayama Vs Rodriguez the bout can be seen in full below.
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