Earlier today Teiken reported that the planned IBF Super Featherweight title out between Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov (15-0-1, 12) [Шавкатджон Рахимов] and Kenichi Ogawa (25-1-1-1, 18) [尾川 堅一] was now dead in the water, and that instead of that bout we'll be seeing Ogawa take on South African fighter Azinga Fuzile (15-1, 9) for the vacant IBF title in the near future.
No explicit reason was given for why Rakhimov was out, though he was forced to pull out of a scheduled date with Ogawa in August due to injury, and it appears plans to reschedule to bout for October have now fallen through as well. So there's a genuine chance that Rakhimov's injury is worse than first expected.
Interestingly these three men have circled around each other for a while now. Originally we were supposed to see Ogawa and Fuzile face off in an IBF world title eliminator in 2019, which was cancelled when Ogawa decided to take a different route to a potential world title fight. That lead to Fuzile facing Rakhimov, with Rakhimov stopping the South Africa. We've now seen Rakhimov seemingly pull out of facing Ogawa leaving us with Fuzile and Ogawa now looking set to face off for the title, rather than the eliminator they were supposed to have.
Although Teiken have announced that it will be Ogawa Vs Fuzile, they didn't report a venue or a date for the bout, just that this was now the bout in the world for Ogawa.
Over the last 48 hours or so it was revealed that the planned IBF Super Featherweight title bout between Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov (15-0-1, 12) [Шавкатджон Рахимов] and Kenichi Ogawa (25-1-1-1, 18) [尾川 堅一], which was planned for later this month, has had to be postponed.
The bout has had to be postponed due to the fact Rakhimov has suffered an injury, and been told by a doctor to take a week from training to allow his body to recover. Given how close the fight was that recovery had forced the bout to be pushed back.
At the moment it's not totally clear what date the fight will be rescheduled for, though it is known that the bout is now pencilled in for a date in "October", though it clearly dependent on Rakhimov recovering from his injury as quickly as expected.
At the time of writing it's not just the date of the bout that is unclear but also the location of the bout, which was planned to be Dubai though may end up being changed due to the date shift.
We want to wish Rakhimov a speedy recovery and hope the bout does get staged in October, as this is now the second delay to the bout which was originally pencilled in for July before being delayed to August, and now ultimately October.
Earlier today RCC released the poster for the planned IBF Super Featherweight title bout between Tajik fighter Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov (15-0-1, 12) [Шавкатджон Рахимов] and Japan's Kenichi Ogawa (25-1-1-1, 18) [尾川 堅一], and in doing so revealed that the bout, which was originally scheduled for July, has been pushed back to August 20th.
The bout will see the two men battling for the title which was stripped from Joseph Diaz back in February, when he failed to make weight for a bout with Rakhimov. The bout went ahead regardless, resulting in a draw, and left the IBF to order this fight.
It's the second chance for both men to win this specific title.
Rakhimov, as mentioned, fought to a draw with Diaz for the title earlier this year, in what was a genuinely solid fight aired live on DAZN. Ogawa got even closer, and actually was recognised as the champion for a little whilse, after beating Tevin Farmer in 2017. He would however fail a drug test, thought to be linked to a skin cream, and was stripped of the title, wih the win becoming a no contest.
Interestingly we not only know about this bout, but also who the winner will have to face, with South African fighter Azinga Fuzile waiting in the wings for the winner following his recent victory in a world title eliminator. Notably Fuzile has already fought Rakhimov, with the Tajik beating Fuzile by stoppage in South Africa before questions about the illegal use of smelling salts surfaced. A win for Rakhimov would set up that rematch.
Interesting the Rakhimov Vs Fuzile bout only actually came about when negotiations for a bout between Ogawa and Fuzile, which has it's self been ordered as an eliminator, fell apart. If Ogawa wins and sets up a defense against Fuzile it would be interesting to see history go full circle.
This bout is going to be taking place in Dubia, with MTK will be involved, along with Teiken and RCC and and it's expected, although yet to be confirmed, that IFLTV and ESPN+ will air the bout in the west.
Earlier today Dan Rafael broke the news that a deal has been done for the IBF Super Featherweight title bout between Tajik fighter Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov (15-0-1, 12) [Шавкатджон Рахимов] and Japan's Kenichi Ogawa (25-1-1-1, 18) [尾川 堅一], with the two men agreeing to face off in July in Dubai for the vacant title. (Dan's piece on this on Boxing Scene can be read here)
The title became vacant back in February, when defending champion Joseph "Jojo" Diaz (31-1-1, 15) failed to make weight for a mandatory title defense against Rakhimov. Despite Diaz missing weight for the bout the contest went ahead and resulted in a 12 round draw, which left the title vacant. As a result of the vacancy the IBF ordered the teams or Rakhimov and Ogawa to negotiate a bout for the vacant title, which is exactly what they've done.
The bout is now set to take place on either July 10th or July 17th in Dubai, meaning neutral turf for both men.
For Rakhimov this will be his second crack at a world title, following the bout with Diaz in February. Notably Rakhimov got his shot at Diaz after winning his first 15 bouts. The most notable of those was a controversial victory in 2019 against Azinga Fuzile in South Africa, in what was a final eliminator. That win saw Rakhimov become the mandatory, but he had to wait over a year for his show as legal issues between Diaz and former champion Tevin Farmer, as well as Covid19, proved to be stumbling blocks. This upcoming bout will be his second shot at the title, and his third successive fight out of Russia, which has been his boxing home since his 2015 debut. Aged 26 Rakhimov is coming into his physical prime, but it does feel very much like he is still improving with every fight, and his performance against Diaz was the best of his career, so far.
This will also be Ogawa's second shot at a world title, following his own controversy. He fought Tevin Farmer for the then vacant title in 2017, winning a split decision in Las Vegas before being stripped of the belt due to a failed drug test, which his team put down to a skin cream. The failed drug nullified the win over Farmer and saw Ogawa have 12 month suspension from the JBC. He returned to the ring in 2019 and has gone 3-0-1 since then, including a technical decision draw with Joe Noynay and a decision win over Kazuhiro Nishitani back in October, in a bit of an over-looked thriller. Aged 33 this is likely to be his final shot at a world title, and the bout is, essentially, a must win for him.
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.
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