As previously reported this bout will take place on the undercard of the WBA Flyweight title bout between Kazuto Ioka (16-1, 10) and defending champion Juan Carlos Reveco (35-1, 19). Also as previously reported Takayama will only be defending the IBF title, choosing to vacate the WBO rather than face a WBO mandatory challenger in the summer, preferring to keep his options open for a bout with WBA champion Hekkie Budler (27-1, 9) around the same time.
Going in to the bout Takayama has promised to try and score a knockout in the second half of the fight and hinted that a move to Light Flyweight will come later in the year. Possibly next, if he can't secure a showdown with Budler.
Takayama has also confirmed that he will where a special band as a sign of remembrance for friend and former fighter Kaito Hattori who recently passed away after a battle with leukemia. Takayama and Hattori were close friends and unfortunately Hattori's death and illness ended what had looked like a promising career.
In regards to the WBO title that Takayama is vacating, we're now just awaiting a follow up announcement. That announcement is strongly rumoured to be a bout between Kosei Tanaka (4-0, 2) and Julian Yedras (24-1, 13) with Tanaka hoping to become a world champion in just his 5th professional fight, a Japanese national record.
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)
Worst kept secret in boxing is out...Ioka WILL fight Reveco on April 22nd!
Kosei Tanaka Vs Julian Yedras for the WBO Minimumweight title?
Unbeaten Japanese prospect passes away from leukemia
(Image courtesy of Nikkan Sports/Kazuhiro Masuda)