The first bit of news was that the big puncher was set to vacate the OPBF Light Welterweight title. The news isn't much of a surprise and ends a reign that began in April 2014, when Obara stopped Jay Solmiano in 4 rounds, and saw him record just 2 defenses, stopping both Shinya Iwabuchi and Yuya Okazaki.
With the title pretty much vacant we're expecting to see an interesting bout to see a new champion being crowned, and that could feature the exciting Iwabuchi the once touted Jason Pagara or unbeaten Thai Chalermpol Singwancha, who is in action on January 30th against Ik Yang in Shanghai.
The other bit of news, and possibly the more exciting bit, is that Obara's team at the Misako gym believe they are close to sorting out a rematch with Nicaraguan tough guy Walter Castillo (26-3-1, 19), a rematch that will be an IBF world title eliminator.
The rematch has been Obara's focus since he and Castillo fought to a very controversial draw late last year, in a bout that almost everyone had Obara winning by a wide margin. The rematch, according to the Misako team, will take place in Spring but no specifics have been announced as of yet. It clear however that Obara is in shape and gearing towards the bout, a bout that he will be hoping to finish early and take out of the judges hands.
For those who missed the first Obara/Castillo bout we have featured it, in full, below.