Earlier today the Japanese press began running a very interesting story regarding the IBF Minimumweight title. According to the story we will see Katsunari Takayama (27-7-0-1, 10), a former multi-time world champion, return to the ring an IBF title fight against compatriot Go Odaira (11-3-3, 1), the current Japanese national champion.
From the reports in the press it appears that negotiations between Takayama and Mexican fighter Jose Argumedo (14-3-1, 8), who fought this past weekend, have been derailed due to contractual issues regarding Argumedo and the IBF have decided that rather than waiting for those to be sorted they will allow Odaira his first world title fight.
For Takayama this will be a great chance to regain the IBF title that he lost in a thriller to Francisco Rodriguez Jr and better yet it will be a fantastic chance to do so in front of Japanese fans in what would be an all-Japanese world title. For Odaira it would be his first world title bout continue a remarkable couple of years for the speedstar from the Hanagata gym.
Just 2 years ago Odaira was a virtual unknown though earlier this year the speedy fighter claimed the Japanese with an impressive win over Masashi Tada. Since winning that belt he has recorded 2 defenses including a very clear win over Hiroya Yamamoto in September and moved up highly into the world rankings with only the WBA not listing him in their current rankings. For those interested he is actually managed by former world champion Susumu Hanagata who held the WBA Flyweight title back in the mid 1970's and holds a very notable win over Masao Oba.
As for Takayama what really needs saying? He has won WBC, WBA and IBF titles whilst becoming one of boxing true road warriors and good guys whilst fighting anyone and everybody in a memorable career. He has shared the ring with the likes of Rodriguez Jr, Roman Gonzalez, Eagle Den Junlaphan, Yutaka Niida and Nkosinathi Joyi in what of the most fun to watch career in recent memory.
At the moment no date or venue has been set though we're expecting the bout to be announced for early 2015 in either Osaka, Tokyo or Kanagawa.
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