It's fair to say that WBO/IBF Minimumweight champion Katsunari Takayama (28-7-0-1, 11) has done more than many to chase every title he can and he is also one of the very few fighters to have become "Grandslam" champions. It seems however that he will now be faced with a tough question and according to one Japanese source we were informed that Takayama may be forced to vacate one of those belts for his upcoming bout, which is penciled in for April or May.
Our sources has informed us that the mandatory obligations may be the problem for Takayama and that due to his 4 year chase of the IBF belt, which sent him to the Philippines, South Africa and eventually Mexico, that would be the belt he would keep.
Our source has gone on to explain that the rumour may be good news for Kosei Tanaka (4-0, 2) who could get his shot at the WBO belt if Takayama vacates. We suspect Tanaka would rather beat a champion but it would give him an alternative route to the top if a fight with WBC champion Wanheng Menayothin (36-0, 12) fails to materialise for whatever reason.
What makes this rumour even more interesting is that both Takayama Vs TBA and Tanaka Vs TBA are set to take place in Nagaoya and it looks like they may actually share the show together in April or May. If this happen it would clearly build towards a fight down the line, even though we already know that Takayama wants a bout with Hekkie Budler (27-1, 9), the WBA champion, in the summer.
We suspect that Tanaka Vs Wanheng and Takayama Vs TBA would be preferable for the "KO Dream Boy" however knowing there could be a back up option if needed would certainly not do him any harm at all at the negotiating table.
Please note that all this is rumour at the moment, though we thought it an interesting one and worth sharing.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!