Earlier today in Osaka fans and the media had the opportunity to see IBF Minimumweight champion Katsunari Takayama (28-7-0-1, 11) take part in an open training sessions ahead of his upcoming defense against Thailand's Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (27-3-1, 15).
The session saw Takayama shadow boxing and hitting the mitts whilst also talking to the media about a number of things, including his weight which is only over the 105lb divisional limit. It seems that he's got his weight with ease and will be able to make the Minimumweight limit with no problem.
One problem that may arise come fight time is the difference in size. Takayama has been sparring with taller fighters to prepare for the fight with Fahlan but he'll still be around 10cm shorter than his challenger. He's stated that he's been working on ways to neutralise the difference and it seems likely that we'll see Takayama try to cut the distance and work away on the inside as he attempts to make a statement and stop the challenger.
A much more revealing comment was that a deal hadn't yet been agreed to fight Hekkie Budler in November. It does seem likely that the deal will be made, at least if both men come through their next bouts unscathed, but it's not signed sealed and delivered. It seems clear that if the bout can't be made then Takayama will leave the division in the pursuit of Light Flyweight gold.
Incidentally Fahlan has been chosen for this defense by Takayama's team so that the Japanese fighter can get used to the size of a Light Flyweight before making the move up in weight. It's a clever match up in some ways, even if some fans do see it as a disappointing defence for the exciting Japanese fighter.
Fahlan returns to Osaka and looks to become a second generation champion against the "Lightning Kid" Takayama (Preview)
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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