Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Katsunari Takayama Hits Mexico, Eyes History

By Jake Donovan

Japan has yet to play host to its first sanctioned IBF title fight, but Katsunari Takayama remains on a quest to become the second from his nation to win such a crown.

The strawweight contender embarks on his fifth consecutive road trip in his pursuit of alphabet hardware as he faces defending 105 lb. titlist Mario ‘Dragoncito’ Rodriguez this Saturday in Guasave, Sinaloa, Mexico.

Also on the Televisa-televised card, Raul ‘Rayito’ Garcia faces Pedro Guevara in a junior flyweight elimination bout (labeled by the WBC as a silver title fighgt). In undercard action, Oscar Molina – a member of the 2012 Mexico Olympic boxing squad - fights for the second time in three weeks and the third time overall since turning pro in late January.

The timing of Takayama’s latest title shot is peculiar, as the fight was secured months before the Japanese Boxing Commission agreed earlier this month to honor the IBF as a recognized championship entity. Prior to the announcement, the JBC only honored title fights from the WBC and WBA, the oldest two sanctioning bodies in the sport.

Such a stance has led to fighters such as Takayama (24-6, 10KO) hitting the road in pursuit of available title shots. The 29-year old had never left Japan in 26 previous fights before fighting three straight times in South Africa, winning a title eliminator in Sept. ’10, before coming up short in two separate shots at then-unbeaten champion Nkosinathi Joyi, who in turn was defeated by Rodriguez last year in Mexico.

Saturday’s bout marks the first defense for Rodriguez (15-6-4, 11KO). Takayama intends to make it his last days as champ and has no reservations about visiting the lion’s den – or in this case, the Dragon’s lair – in hopes of winning a title and one day defending in Japan.

“I did not come to Mexico to enjoy the beaches, I’ve come for the world title,” insists Takayama, who arrived in Mexico this week and held a workout Tuesday afternoon. “It has been a dream of mine since his childhood and Rodriguez will not stand in my way.

“If blood has to flow, then blood will flow. But I will be champion on Saturday evening. I spent many hours traveling here, but I’ve had enough time to recover. There are no issues with altitude because we are at sea level. There no excuses; I will be world champion and go into the pages of boxing history.”

Because of its nation's decades long stance against recognizing fights in Japan involving the IBF and WBO, fighters from Japan have seen limited opportunities to contend for titles in either organization. Japanese fighters such as Takayama were free to travel outside the country, but had little incentive to bring a belt home without the opportunity to defend it in front of their countrymen.

To date, Satoshi Shingaki is the only fighter from Japan to win an IBF title, claiming the vacant bantamweight belt with an 8th round knockout of Elmer Magallano in April '84. 

The feat itself went unrecognized by the JBC, refusing to sanction the show due to the title at stake. The same was the case for Shingaki's failed title bid against Dodie Boy Penalosa in Dec. '83, as well as his lone successful title defense in Aug. '84 before losing the title to Jeff Fenech in 1985 on the road in Australia.

With such a ban lifted and the JBC honoring such title fights, Takayama is more motivated than ever to come out on top after three failed attempts at alphabet glory. Prior to the two fights with Joyi came a failed bid at home in July ’09 against Roman Gonzalez. Home or away, winning is the only outcome he envisions taking place.

"I'm a professional, I have to come in weight and ready for the fight,” Takayama insists. “The long journey is not an excuse because the great champions are crowned wherever. I’ve come for the title and anyone who saw me train (Tuesday) knows so.”

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

Tags:
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by BattleAxePurist on 03-29-2013

[QUOTE=hougigo;13189108]Honestly.... i liked what Japan was doing only recognizing 2.... now they're going to be dragged into the whole phony title business[/QUOTE] Just the WBO for now and it's actually a good thing , there will be more options for…

Comment by Hougigo on 03-28-2013

[QUOTE=JakeNDaBox;13189088]I meant to say the first recognized by the JBC. None of Shingaki's title fights were sanctioned by the JBC, though yes he remains the first and only from Japan to win an IBF belt. I amended the wording to…

Comment by JakeNDaBox on 03-28-2013

[QUOTE=sugar555;13185940]we already had one ibf champ along time ago his name was shingaki satoshi[/QUOTE] I meant to say the first recognized by the JBC. None of Shingaki's title fights were sanctioned by the JBC, though yes he remains the first…

Comment by nycsmooth on 03-27-2013

Mari 2 have turned his career around 4 the better after some hard luck early on, 1 bad beating from Donnie Nietes afew years back, in Sinaloa,Guasave...

Comment by sugar555 on 03-27-2013

we already had one ibf champ along time ago his name was shingaki satoshi

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (5)
Top Headlines Adonis Stevenson-Sean Monaghan Fight Being Pushed Back Golovkin's Promoter Updates on Status of Billy Joe Saunders Fight Photos: Luis Ortiz, Derric Rossy - Go Face To Face in New York Anthony Ogogo Registered Blind After Fracturing Eye Socket Mike Perez Ring Return Set For April 28 In Dublin Glenn Dezurn vs. Leroy Davila To Open Up ShoBox, April 14 Trainer: Gamboa, If He Stops Bad Habits, Can Beat Lomachenko Eric Molina: Not Many Will Beat Joshua, He'll Go Through Klitschko David Haye is The Latest To Entertain Facing a UFC Fighter Mikkel Kessler Ring Return in Play For World Boxing Super Series Bradley Skeete vs. Shayne Singleton Set, June 2 In Brentwood Shumenov vs. Dorticos Headed To Palms in Las Vegas, April 29 Brook vs. Spence Tickets - Fight Pass Pre-Sale Sold Out Pacquiao Adviser: Pacquiao-Horn Deal Being Finalized For July 2 Petrov's Promoter Could See 'Fight of The Year' With Flanagan Kathy Duva Explains Why Barrera is Not Fighting Artur Beterbiev Luis Ortiz's Manager Explains Why They Signed With Al Haymon Charlo's Trainer, Hatley Argue About Results of Spence Sparring Frank Warren: 1 Mill For Crolla To Face Flanagan, is Hearn Joking? Liam Smith Hopes To Land Miguel Cotto Showdown Thomas Stalker To Return In Leicester, April 22 Gervonta Davis vs. Liam Walsh: Anthony Yarde Added To Card Tony Bellew Admits He May Possibly Fight "Three" More Times Carson Jones: Kell Brook Will Beat Errol Spence! Marcos Reyes Plans Shocker: David Lemieux is NOT Invincible 30 years later, Tim Ryan on Leonard-Hagler and the Golden Age Mikey Garcia: If Gamboa Can Get a Title, I Would Fight Him Miguel Cotto Ring Return Being Positioned For June 24 Jermell Charlo: Hatley Hasn't Fought Near My Level of Competition Kudryashov-Durodola Rematch - WBC Final Eliminator, May 20 Juan Manuel Marquez Files Lawsuit Over Fraud, 2.3 Million Stolen Luis Ortiz: After My April Fight - I Want Wilder, Joshua or Parker! Srisaket Sor Rungvisai Receives Hero's Welcome at Home Arum Tired of Waiting, Gives Pacquiao Deadline To Decide on Horn Sullivan Barrera: Parker Fight is Another Step To a World Title Luis Ortiz vs. Derric Rossy Possible For Berto-Porter Card Froch: We May See The 'Best and Last' of Klitschko With Joshua Photos: Alberto Machado, Juan Jose Martinez - Go Face To Face Mayweather Gets Partial Win Over Ms. Jackson in Court Ruling Fonfara: Training With Virgil Hunter Will Make Me a Better Fighter
Advertisement
Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement