Earlier today boxing fans in Osaka had the chance to see two Japanese world champions defend their titles. They were WBO Atomweight champion Nao Ikeyama (16-3-1, 4) and WBO female Minimumweight champion Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (6-1-2, 3).
Following their bouts the promoter of the show, Yasushi Hirayama the chairman of Futur, announced his plans for the two champions. The plans are unique and very different to almost anything we've heard in regards to professional boxing.
Hirayama hinted that the plans for the champions is to have them defend their belts in Sri Lanka in July. If the plans come to fruition they would be the first ever world title fight in the countries history, in fact it would the first professional boxing show in Sri Lanka's history.
The land now known as Sri Lanka has hosted boxing in the past, with a show as recently as November 1st 1942. Back then the country was known as the Dominion of Ceylon. Since the the country has gone through various changes, including the name change and gaining independence from the United Kingdom.
From our records the most notable title fights in the land is that is currently Sri Lanka have taken place more than 80 years ago. In 1931 Colombo hosted a bout for the Ceylon Middleweight title, that saw Gunboat Jack defeat George Wells in the 2nd round whilst 31 years previous Artie Tully defeated Jim Holloway in Diyatalawa for the South African Lightweight title.
We're not totally sure why Hirayama is talking about Sri Lanka though we do like the idea of boxing growing from East Asia into South Asia, where there really isn't much of a boxing scene.
India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh have more than 1.4 billion people living in the area and with an untapped talent pool there is the potential for major revolution in boxing if the countries can be attracted to the sport. Fingers crossed that will happen one day and if Hirayama has seen the potential there is every chance that Futur will manage to make a foothold there before anyone else.
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