Boxing can be a frustrating sport to be involved in. As fans we are frustrated by the politics of the sport, the often abhorrent match making and the ducking, diving and avoidance of particular fighters. Fighters themselves have shown that they get frustrated by the officiating and avoidance that they may get as well as some issues regarding their pay or other financial issues. Promoters have expressed their frustrations at fighters, officials and the governing bodies. We all get frustrated at times by this great sport.
Despite our frustrations we tend to put up with them in the hope of getting something magical. Sometimes the magic happens unexpectedly with a fight that comes out of left field and makes us sit and watch it, engaged with the action in the ring. Other times the magic happens because it has to happen, the fans, television and others almost force it into happening.
Another time when magic can happen in boxing, it when the fighters want to do something special.
On Thursday we saw South African promotional outfit "Golden Gloves" announce one such bit of magic, with a date and venue for us to get excited by.
The announcement was that their fighter, South African Hekkie Budler (28-1, 9) was all but certain to get a triple title unification bout with Japan's Katsunari Takayama (28-7-0-1, 11). It was something both men had called for publicly and something that came about because the fighters demanded it.
The bout will pit the WBA and IBO champion, Budler, against the current IBF champion, Takayama, in a bout to decide the clear #1 in the division. It would allow an Takayama an opportunity to claim a WBA "regular" title, having previously has an interim title, and the IBO belt whilst it would allow Budler a huge opportunity to call himself the man in the sport's lowest weight class.
Before we get too excited we do need to note three things. First Takayama will need to get past Thailand's Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (27-3-1, 15) on April 22nd, then Budler will need to be successful in June, when he takes part in a planned voluntary defense against a yet to be named opponent. We also need to hope the IBF won't set a mandatory in the summer and that Takayama and Kosei Tanaka (4-0, 2) don't have their mooted clash in summer.
If all goes as planned the two men will meet on November 6th in Monte Carlo, Monaco, in what will be the most significant bout the division has seen since Ricardo Lopez battled with Rosendo Alvarez back in 1998!
For those wanting to read the press release regarding the bout it can be found here-
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