In November we had expected to see Japanese southpaw Ryosuke Iwasa (22-2, 14) [岩佐 亮佑] fight in an IBF Super Bantamweight world title eliminator. Sadly however that bout was scrapped at the last minute when Iwasa's scheduled opponent, Luis Rosa (22-0-0-2, 10), failed to make weight for the bout.
Rather than punishing Iwasa for Rosa's lack of professionalism we'll instead see Iwasa get a world title fight in 2017. The former Japanese and OPBF Bantamweight champion is set to face the winner of the upcoming bout between current world champion Jonathan Guzman (22-0-0-1, 22) and Japan's Yukinori Oguni (18-1-1, 7) [小國 以載], who fight in Kyoto on December 31st.
A bout with Guzman would see Iwasa face someone who had beaten his good friend Shingo Wake, with Wake being stopped for the title earlier this year, and retained the title against Oguni, another friend of Iwasa's. If Oguni beats Guzman, in what would be a late year upset, then Iwasa will find himself facing off with a close friend for the title.
Although he's not yet aware of which man he'll be facing it's clear that Iwasa, and mentor Celes Kobayashi, were glad to know where the future lies with the a press conference announcing the IBF's decision being made earlier today, clearing up any potential confusion.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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