It's hard to believe that the last bout for a top world title was 4 months ago. That saw the WBA Minimumweight Super champion Knockout CP Freshmart (21-0, 7) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] successfully retaining his title as he out pointed Japanese challenger Norihito Tanaka (19-8, 10) [田中教仁] in Thailand. Since then the world has changed massively and it's hard to even remember what March was like.
Today news broke from Thailand that Knockout will now likely be defending his WBA title again in September, though few other details have been made clear.
It's unclear, given he's the super champion and their is no regular champion, whether Knockout will need to defend in a mandatory, for example against #1 ranked Jose Argumedo (23-4-1, 14), or WBA "Gold" champion Leyman Benavides (17-6-1, 3), or will be able to select a voluntary defense, whilst the world comes to terms with the new normal and the WBA get around to crowning a "regular" champion.
There has been talk in Japan of the returning Katsunari Takayama (31-8-0-1, 12) [高山 勝成] wanting to face Knockout in Osaka later in the year. Whilst it's unclear if that will be possible, given Takayama has himself not fought as a professional in years, though is currently ranked by the WBA at Light Flyweight.
*Note we are aware of Joshua Franco's win over Andrew Moloney, but that was for the WBA's second title with Roman Gonzalez being their super champion. Blame the WBA for their mess.
Earlier today Japanese site Sports Hochi reported that there is talk of former multi-time Japanese world champion Katsunari Takayama (31-8-0-1, 12) [高山 勝成] facing a world champion on his return to the ring later in the year.
The site has reported that an offer has been sent to Takayama and promoter Nobuhiro Ishida for Takayama to face WBA Minimumweight champion Knockout CP Freshmart (21-0, 7) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท], with the bout expected to be taking place in Osaka, if negotiations can be completed.
Originally the plan for Takayama's return was to be a move up in weight, to fight at Light Flyweight, though he had been open to fighting for the WBA Minimumweight title, as he had only held the "interim" title earlier in his career. He has long wanted to win all 4 belts in the division, hence his willingness to fight at Minmumweight to face Knockout.
Of course things are certainly not a done here by any stretch, and negotiations are far from complete, and the bout is far from being signed and sealed. It would take for the JBC to allow Takayama to be licensed and for international fighters to be able to travel before the fight could take place.
At the moment the 37 year old Takayama hasn't fought as a professional since August 2016, and to take on a champion in his ring return would be an incredibly big ask.
Whilst much of the focus on the Sports Hochi story is around Takayama the bout would also be a notable one for the 29 year old Thai, who has lacked big name wins and a win over Takayama, even a faded Takayama, in Japan would be among his most noteworthy.
Tomorrow in Thailand we'll see the unbeaten WBA Minimumweight champion Knockout CP Freshmart (20-0, 7) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] making his next defense, as he takes on Japanese challenger Norihito Tanaka (19-7, 10) [田中教仁].
The bout, which will be shown on Thai CH7 HD, is one of the few big boxing events still set to take place in Asia, which has seen the sporting calendar being put on hold in some countries, and is one of the few real highlights set to come from the regional this month.
Today the two men engaged in their weigh in for the bout, and both men hit the scales bang on the divisional limit of 105lbs, whilst looking in good shape. Neither looked shredded but both looked very solid on the scales.
For Tanaka this will bee his first world title fight, and the 35 year old isn't expected to get another shot if he loses here. As for Knockout this will be his 8th defenses, and history is very much on his side as no Japanese male fighter has ever won a world title bout in Thailand.
Related - Knockout defends WBA title against Norihito Tanaka!
This coming week we'll see unbeaten WBA Minimumweight champion Knockout CP Freshmart (20-0, 7) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] defending his title against Japanese challenger Norihito Tanaka (19-7, 10) [田中教仁] in Thailand.
Today, ahead of that bout, the two men went through their medical examinations, and were not only tested for their general health but also coronavirus.
Thankfully no issue has been found for either man, with Tanaka going as far as to tell the Japanese media that not only was there "no problem" but that he was "looking forward" to the weigh in tomorrow.
Rather interestingly it's been reported that Tanaka was actually 105lbs earlier today, giving the feeling that making weight will be no issue at all for the challenger. Sadly however we've not heard much in regards to the champion, and how he's doing making weight. In recent bouts he has looked lacklustre and there is the potential that a struggle to make weight has lead to his under-whelming performances.
For those wanting to watch the bout it will be In regards to TV Channel 7Hd will be showing the card from 13:45 to 15:45 local time.
Related - Knockout defends WBA title against Norihito Tanaka!
Despite a recent announcement from the JBC that all domestic activity will be suspended during the month of March that doesn't mean all bouts involving Japanese fighters have been called off. On March 3rd wee see one Japanese fighter challenging unbeaten WBA Minimumweight champion Knockout CP Freshmart (20-0, 7) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] in Thailand, and that bout will still go ahead.
The bout in question is, of course, the between the champion and Japanese challenger Norihito Tanaka (19-7, 10) [田中教仁], who gets his first world title bout at the age of 35.
Today Tanaka left Japan, getting a flight out of Narita Airport to Thailand.
The plan on travelling so early, given the relatively short distance between the two countries, is to give himself time to adapt to the harsh conditions of Thailand, getting used to things like the heat and humidity, and finish up preparing in the "Land of Smiles".
At the time of writing Japanese men are 0-24-1 in world title bouts in Thailand, so a win for Tanaka would be a real note in Japanese history, but he is very much the under-dog against the flawed, and often frustrating, unbeaten champion.
JBC to suspend all boxing from March 1st!
Knockout defends WBA title against Norihito Tanaka!
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