Back in Early May Japan's talented teenage sensation Riku Kano (10-1-1, 5) [加納陸] claimed the OPBF "interim" Minimumweight title, as he scored an impressive, but close, win over former world champion Merlito Sabillo. That win, as previously reported, helped Kano become the WBO #1 ranked contender for the title which had, earlier this year, been vacated by compatriot Kosei Tanaka [田中恒成].
Today Kano made his future crystal clear as a press conference, in Hyogo, saw an announcement that revealed the youngster would be fighting for the WBO Minimumweight world title against #2 ranked fighter Katsunari Takayama (30-8-0-1, 12) [高山 勝成] on August 20th.
The bout sees Kano getting a chance to create a small slice of history with the youngster looking to become the youngest ever Japanese world champion, at a prodigious 18 years, 9 months and 4 days, breaking , who was 18 years, 9 months and 10 days when he claimed the WBC Minimumweight title in 1987 with a win over Mai Thomburifarm.
Although much of the focus is on Kano's shot at history the bout does see Takayama looking to become a world champion once again. The popular Osakan warrior will be looking to reclaim the WBO title, to have his second reign, and begin a 5th reign as a world champion, albeit one of those reigns was as a WBA "interim" champion.
The bout, as mentioned, will come on August 20th and will be held at the Komagatani Sports Park, in Sanda, Hyogo and will be aired on Osaka TV, an affiliate of Tokyo TV. At the moment it's unclear if a flagship channel will air the bout however it is hoped that one will pick up the bout, possibly as part of a joint broadcast.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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