Current IBF Minimumweight champion Katsunari Takayama (26-6-0-1, 10) has, according to South African promoter Golden Gloves, been in touch about a fight with current WBA and IBO Minimumweight champion Hekkie Budler (24-1, 7).
Takayama, pictured, who became Japan's second ever IBF champion last year when he defeated Mario Rodriguez, has been very forward in talking about fighting fellow champions with rumoured bouts against Merlito Sabillo (WBO) and Xiong Zhao Zhong (WBC). And the former WBC and WBA interim champion seems to be genuine in his pursuit for an unification bout and doesn't appear to care which champion he has to face to get a second title.
Before Takayama can get a fight with Budler however a number of things would have to be sorted. First of which is Budler's up coming fight with Colombian Karluis Diaz on February 15th. That contest shouldn't really be a difficult one for Budler who is genuine world class.
The next thing that would need to be sorted would be venue. Although Takayama has proven to be willing to travel for fights, having fought in the Philippines, South Africa and Mexico in recent year it's unlikely he's want to defend his title in his opponents back yard. Likewise it's be unwise of Budler to travel to Japan.
Budler's manager, Colin Nathan, has offered a neutral venue, mentioning Monaco as a possibility due to the links Golden Gloves have there, though European fans have shown an indifference to Minimumweight bouts in the past and this would likely see the fight buried beneath another title bout of some variety.
We'll admit we're apprehensive when it comes to talks about unification bouts though with Takayama's reputation for fighting the best and with him calling out any champion in the 105lb division we can't help be think that we will see him in with one of the 3 other major title holders at some point this year.
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