This past Saturday we saw American Joseph "Jojo" Diaz (31-1-1, 15) become the former IBF Super Featherweight champion, following his failure to make weight on Friday and being stripped of his title on the scales, prior to facing mandatory challenger Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov (15-0-1, 12) [Шавкатджон Рахимов].
When the two men got in the following day they ended up fighting to a draw, in what was a really decent fight. As a result of the draw the title remained vacant.
Thankfully the IBF haven't wasted time in trying to resolve the situation and have now ordered Rakhimov to face Japanese Super Featherweight Kenichi Ogawa (25-1-1-1, 18) [尾川 堅一] for the vacant title.
The IBF have given Teiken, who promote Ogawa, and RCC Boxing Promotion, who promote Rakhimov, 30 days to negotiate. If no deal is reached within that time the bout will go to purse bids.
Interestingly the match between Rakhimov and Ogawa will be the second either man has to win this IBF title.
Ogawa got a shot back in 2017 when he out pointed Tevin Farmer for the vacant title, before the result was over-turned due to a positive drug test, which was put down to a skin cream Ogawa was using. As for Rakhimov his first shot was the one over the weekend against Diaz.
Back in November news broke that IBF Minimumweight champion Pedro Taduran (14-2-1, 11) was lining up a fight with fellow Filipino Rene Mark Cuarto (18-2-2, 11), with talk being that the contest could take place as early as December.
As it turned out the bout wasn't on for December, but it now appears there is date and location set for the bout, as reported by the brilliant Ian Melodillar earlier today.
For Taduran the bout will, as Ian say's, be his second defense of the IBF title which he won last year when he stopped Samuel Salva in an absolute thriller. His first defense was a headclash marred technical draw against Daniel Valladares back in February this year and it will actually be more than a year between his first and second defense, though we all understand why.
As for Cuarto this will be his first world title fight, though interestingly he did lose to Samuel Salva in 2019, and hasn't scored a win of note since then. Despite that he shouldn't be over-looked and does have solid domestic wins over the likes of Clyde Azarcon, Ian Ligutan and Jerome Clavite. Admittedly all fighters a long way removed from Taduran.
Whilst maybe not the best match up the division could give us, this is certainly a very interesting looking all Filipino world title bout and something to b excited about for the new year.
Just hours ago Boxing South Africa put a media statement on their social media accounts announcing that the IBF Flyweight title bout between defending champion Moruti Mthalane (39-2, 26) and Filipino challenger Jayson Mama (15-0, 8), set for December 20th, had been cancelled.
The full statement can be read below, copied directly from the Boxing South Africa Facebook page (with edits made only to remove contact details of Ms Cindy Nkomo).
MEDIA STATEMENT: TONO PROMOTIONS TOURNAMENT
Boxing South Africa (BSA) takes this opportunity to regrettably inform the public, media and all boxing stakeholders about the cancellation of the Tono Promotions boxing tournament scheduled for Sunday, 20 December 2020, in Durban. The tournament billed to stage the IBF World Flyweight Championship defence title between Moruti Mthalane and Jayson Mama as the main bout and the WBA Middleweight Pan African title fight between Nkululeko Mhlongo and Walter Dlamini has been cancelled.
BSA has done everything possible to save this tournament however, on Friday, 11 December 2020 it became evident to the federation that the Promoter has failed to meet basic requirements to enable BSA to sanction and give credibility to the event. The failure by the Promoter to meet basic tournament requirements has subsequently left BSA with no option but to cancel the tournament however affording the Promoter the opportunity to communicate the cancellation and further manage the consequences which regrettably, the Promoter has failed to equally do so.
BSA therefore takes this opportunity to once more extend its apology to all boxing stakeholders inclusive of KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Department of Sport and Recreation, SuperSport as the tournament broadcaster, members of the media, the public and various sponsors involved, not forgetting all BSA licensees affected by this cancellation including Jayson Mama and his team.
As BSA we remain committed to all our stakeholders and the entire boxing fraternity and will apply the necessary corrective measures in ensuring that events and disappointments of such nature are earlier identified and dealt with for the growth and positive preservation of professional boxing in the country.
For all inquiries, please contact Ms. Cindy Nkomo.
ISSUED BY BSA
At the moment there has been no other word on the bout, though several South African news site have also reported the bout is off, though they all hide the details behind membership walls so may well be quoting the same social media post that we are.
If we get updates on this situation we will share them as and when we get them.
Earlier today Kiatkreerin Promotion, the Thai promotional company Downua Ruawaiking (16-0, 13) [ดาวเหนือ เรือไวกิ้ง], aka Apinun Khongsong, posted on their social media that they would be heading to purse bids for the mandatory title fight between their man Josh Taylor (16-0, 12).
Apparently negotiations between the two sides haven't reached an agreement, and with Taylor recently linking up with Top Rank and Downua doing the same with Samson Boxing, things do seem to have gotten a lot more complicated.
The purse will take place at the IBF offices on January 24th, with the champion taking home 65% of the purse and the challenger taking the other 35%.
Despite Taylor now being backed by the very powerful Top Rank, Kiatkreerin did seem pretty confident in bringing the bout to Thailand, with the suggestion being that they will make a hefty bid to get the rights to host the fight.
It should be noted that Taylor, the IBF an WBA "super" champion, is expected to be lined up for a 4 title unification bout with Jose Carlos Ramirez, if he keeps his titles. With that in mind it's unlikely he'd vacate the IBF belt, though if the bout does end up being won by the Thai's time there is a chance he'll drop the IBF belt. The likeliness however, is that the bout will probably end up being staged in either the US or the UK, with Top Rank expected to put in the highest bid an ensure they keep the control of the bout, and the 4 titles at the weight.
At the start of October the Ioka Gym in Japan held a press conference to announce that Sho Ishida (28-1, 15) [石田 匠] would face Mexican foe Israel Gonzalez (24-3, 11) in an IBF Super Flyweight title eliminator.
What wasn't made clear at the time, though was later revealed, is that the bout had been planned for October 27th in Mexico, before being cancelled on the day of the press conference due to issue with the original promoter.
Today we finally got told the details of the rescheduled bout, and we now know it's set to take place in Osaka, on December 28th, adding further to the stacked December schedule for Japanese fans.
At the moment no other bouts for the show have been announced, but it is known that the event will take place at the EDION Arena Osaka.
For Ishida this is a chance to secure a second world title fight, following his loss in the UK to Kal Yafai in a WBA title fight. As for Gonzalez the bout opens the door to a third shot, following his losses to Jerwin Ancajas and Kal Yafai. Against Ancajas the Mexican was stopped in 10 rounds whilst he ran Yafai incredibly close last year.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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