Earlier today saw the pre-fight press conference before this weekend's Minimumweight super fight between IBF champion Katsunari Takayama (27-6-0-1, 10) and WBO champion Francisco Rodriguez Jr (14-2, 10).
The press conference saw both men showing respect to the other with comments about the other man's ability in the ring. It seemed clear they knew their own strengths and the strengths of their opponents and both promised a great fight, then again that was hardly promise they weren't going to make given heir respective styles.
Going into the fight Rodriguez will be looking to claim his second title in as many fights as he attempts to add the IBF belt to the WBO belt he ripped from Merlito Sabillo earlier this year. As for Takayama the Japanese fighter will be attempting to become the first Japanese fighter to complete a "Grandslam" of winning all 4 major titles.
One interesting thing that is worth noting, that no one else seems to have mentioned, is that Hiroaki Nakade is in Mexico with Takayama. He wasn't featured in any of the Zanfer pictures that were widely circulated but he was featured in a picture on Takayama's personal blog.
For many the issue surrounding Nakade is one they aren't aware of but Nakade is more than just Takayama's trainer and manage. Their relationship, for a long time, has been more like that of a father-and-son with Takayama often looking up to Nakade as a mentor-type person.
Last month there was a lot of worries over whether or not Nakade would travel to Mexico with Takayama as he actually had an aneurysm removed. The issue was reported in the Japanese media, and we referenced it, though many boxing site seem unaware of the situation. Had Nakade not been able to travel it would have been a huge loss for Takayama.
(Images courtesy of:
Zanfer Promotions and http://blog.livedoor.jp/lkid/)
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