The future looks to be interesting with seemingly two clear options out there for the "Lighting Kid".
One of those options is an IBF mandatory defense against Mexican fighter Jose Argumedo (14-3-1, 8), who is a bizarre choice for a mandatory given his recent form. That bout was ordered for September though contractual issues saw Takayama face Hara instead with the mandatory still looming.
The other option, and in fact the more exciting of the two, is that Takayama either asks the IBF to delay the mandatory again, or vacates to face fellow Japanese fighter Kosei Tanaka (5-0, 2) on New Years Eve. Whilst it'd be a shame for Takayama to vacate it does seem like the IBF may try to stand in the way of what would be a brilliant fight and an amazing way to end the year.
Fingers crossed that the IBF do what is right for both the sport, the division an the fighters involved!
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)