After more than 2 weeks of waiting, we can report that IBF Minimumweight champion Katsunari Takayama (29-7-0-2, 11) has finally announced that he will, indeed, be facing Ryuji Hara (19-1, 11) on September 27th at the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium.
We originally reported that this bout was on back on August 11th. Back then it looked like a faux pas by the ticket selling website who listed the bout as being part of the upcoming Kazuto Ioka card. Following that report things went eerily quiet and it began to look like the ticket website had a made a mistake.
Earlier this week however Ryuji Hara's support association blog reported that the bout was on, and it seemed that the announcement was due.
That announcement came today in Osaka where Takayama, flanked by mentor Hiroaki Nakade, spoke about the bout for the press.
The champion sounded confident of over-coming his challenger and it seems that if he can indeed beat Hara he will be aiming to unify the IBF title with the WBO belt, held by Kosei Tanaka, before the end of the year. Incidentally it was Tanaka who inflicted Hara's only professional loss so far and it seems that that bout caught Takayama's eye with the champion being complimentary about Hara's performance in the bout.
As reported yesterday this bout is now the 4th title bout on the card. The main event will be a WBA Flyweight world title bout with Kazuto Ioka's (17-1, 10) defending his title against Roberto Domingo Sosa (26-2-1, 14) whilst the other title bouts will see Sho Ishida (19-0, 10) defending his Japanese Super Flyweight title against Hayato Kimura (23-7, 15) and female OPBF Light Flyweight champion Kei Takenaka (9-0, 3) will be defending her title against Thailand's Krikanok Islandmuaythai (4-4-1, 2).
This bout, along with Ioka's, will be shown on TBS.
For fans who haven't seen the two men in action we've included Takayama Vs Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr, from earlier this year, and Hara's bout with Kosei Tanaka, in videos below.
Ryuji Hara's support association confirms IBF world title shot!
Katsunari Takayama Vs Ryuji Hara set for September 27th
Kazuto Ioka Vs Roberto Domingo Sosa is confirmed for September 27th!
Kei Takenaka to defend OPBF belt on Kazuto Ioka undercard!
(Image courtesy of daily.co.jp)
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