Over the past few days we've been informed that IBF Minimumweight champion Katsunari Takayama (27-6-0-1, 10) has been sparring with super prospect Kosei Tanaka (2-0) as both men prepare for big upcoming bouts.
For Takayama the sparring is to help him prepare for his IBF/WBO unification bout with Francisco Rodriguez Jr (14-2, 10) on August 9th. Whilst Tanaka isn't similar to Rodriguez in fighting style it would still have served as 10 good rounds for the champion who will have had to find a way to cope with Tanaka's exceptional speed, movement and combinations. As for Tanaka the 10 round work out would obviously have been an excellent lesson ahead of his upcoming fight with Filipino Crison Omayao (16-7-2, 4) on July 20th.
We've not seen any footage of images from the sparring but from what we gather it was genuinely beneficial for both men with both having a chance to show what they are good at and both also having a chance to improve on some visible flaws.
From what we understand Takayama may have just 2 fights left at Minimumweight. Obviously the Rodriguez bout, which is set, and if he wins that there are strong rumours he will be matched with WBA champion Hekkie Budler. It's thought that if he wins both of those he will then move up to Light Flyweight and in turn leave the door open for Tanaka who is said to be eyeing up a world title fight at Minimumweight for 2015. It might look like a rush on paper but Tanaka really is that good that many are already suggesting he could break the recently set national record of Naoya Inoue who won a world title in his 6th bout.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!