According to the official blog of Japanese Bantamweight Kohei Oba (35-2-1, 14), pictured, he will be fighting unbeaten Nicaraguan-American Randy Caballero (20-0, 12) on April 4th at the Central Gym in Kobe in an IBF title Eliminator.
Oba, who has recently given up his Japanese national title, was ranked #5 by the IBF and was expected to have wait for a possible title fight or eliminator. Fortunately for him though "issues" have prevented the #3 ranked Jamie McDonnell from fighting Caballero, ranked #4 himself. Those issues have lead to Oba getting the chance against Caballero.
The story of these two being matched up was broken last week, though no one expected that the bout would be set up so quickly nor did we really expect Shinsei Gym to promote it and in fact we expected the bout to take place in the US with US promotional giant Golden Boy Promotions backing their man.
With the fight being in Kobe, where Kohei currently resides, it's hard to pick against him even if he is ranked below that of Caballero who has never fought outside of the US.
The winner of this bout will get the chance to face either Stuart Hall (16-2-1, 7) or Martin Ward (18-2, 4) for the IBF title. Hall, the defending champion, fights Ward on March 29th in what will be Hall's first defense. This would mean that Oba would know, if he beat Caballero, who he'd have to face before stepping foot in to the ring with the unbeaten America.
We're still awaiting more details, such as what the under-card will include, and even confirmation from Shinsei themselves, though it seems likely that this is yet another date to mark down on our calendar for April, a month that is quickly becoming a very packed on.
(Oba's official blog entry can be found here)
(Picture courtesy of http://boxingnews.jp/)
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