Back in April we saw an absolute thriller of a fight as Katsunari Takayama (29-7-0-1, 11) took a very controversial victory over Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (27-4-1, 15) to retain his IBF Minimumweight crown. The bout was thrilling as Takayama brought his usual work rate and exciting aggressiveness whilst Sakkreerin fought on the back foot and countered, often with clean shots off the ropes.
Sadly that bout, as thrilling as it was, ended in controversy with Takayama suffering a serious cut that forced the early conclusion to the bout. The cut that ended the contest appeared to come from a clean punch landed by Sakkreerin though the referee instead took us to the scorecards, in what seemed to be a clear mistake. That finish to the bout saw Kiatkreerin, Sakreerin's promoter, appeal the decision to the IBF in the hope of securing a re-match for September.
According to our sources that appeal has failed and, sadly, for Sakkreerin and his team the IBF have refused to grant that immediate rematch, stating that head clashes in rounds 7 and 8 began the cut that eventually forced the bout to it's premature conclusion. Despite footage suggesting otherwise.
Our view is that Sakkreerin has been hard done by here. It's really unfortunate for him not to have gotten the rematch. We suspect however that the IBF's ruling has come with the knowledge that Takayama is angling for unification bouts with either WBO champion Kosei Tanaka or WBA champion Hekkie Budler, and that those bouts have, in the IBF's mind, swayed the appeal somewhat.
(Image courtesy of Kiatkreerin)
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