Earlier today we were informed that WBO Minimumweight champion Kosei Tanaka (5-0, 2) had had to delay his much spoken about unification bout with IBF champion Katsunari Takayama (30-7-0-1, 12). The bout, which had been strongly linked to a December 31st show in Nagoya, will instead be "carried over" to 2016 to allow both men a chance to defend their titles once more before facing off.
At the moment little is known about Takayama's defense, though rumours from Thailand do suggest that it could be a rematch with Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr following their controversial clash earlier this year.
As for Tanaka however it appears that he will be keeping the December 31st date and will instead be taking on the challenge of Filipino puncher "Vicious" Vic Saludar (11-1, 9). A heavy handed fighter from the Saludar clan, which has also given us Flyweight hopeful Froilan Saludar.
The challenger, 24, comes into the bout on a 9 fight winning streak following an upset loss to Powell Balaba back in November 2013, when he badly damaged his hand. Since that loss he has progressed to title level and was last seen in September, when he won the WBO Asia Pacific title, with a opening round win over Rizky Pratama. Despite his good form on paper he has however faced very limited competition with with only 2 opponents having a better than 50% win rate. It will also be his first bout outside of the Philippines
Despite his lack of professional accomplishments the challenger was a touted amateur and was expected to achieve big things in the professional ranks. A win over Tanaka would of course be huge.
As for Tanaka, the 20 year old "KO Dream Boy", this will be a bout that he is expected to win and continue to build his very promising career. It will however be the first time that he goes up against a puncher and we may find out if his chin is as good as his boxing ability. Sadly however it's a less than breath taking way to end the year for the man who, back in May, set the Japanese speed record for the fewest fights to win a world title, when he beat Julian Yedras for the title.
At the moment it's unclear who will be televising the fight though it's expected that CBC will air it in Nagoya with TBS possibly picking it up as part of their broadcast in Tokyo, alongside the Ioka card on the same day.
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