The next big fight we were looking forward to in Japan was set to be an IBF world title eliminator between Japan's excellent Ryosuke Iwasa (18-1, 11) and American contender Sergio Perales (24-2, 16). That bout was set for February 18th and was supposed to take place at the Korakuen Hall with the expectation being that a win for either man would take them to an IBF Bantamweight world title bout with unbeaten world champion Randy Caballero (22-0, 13).
Sadly the news has broke that Sergio Perales has suffered a training injury that has forced him to withdraw from that fight. Despite Perales injury we will still see Iwasa in action as he takes on last minute replacement Ricardo Roa (12-9-2, 4) of the Philippines and, as the old saying goes, the show must go on, with NTV G+ televising the card as originally planned.
Perales had given notice of his pull out around February 5th and Iwasa's team were trying to get a better replacement than Roa with several ranked contenders being contacted however given the time frame it was unlikely that anyone would have been available for such a big fight at such little notice. This resulted in Roa, a journeyman from the Philippines, getting the bout.
At the moment it's unclear how this will effect the long term plans for Iwasa though we suspect that either he will have to re-schedule an eliminator or, preferably for him, just be given the mandatory status for a fight with Caballero which could happen later this year.
(Image courtesy of http://www.celes-gym.com)
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