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 WBO, WBA Keeping Close Eye on Tyson Fury Cocaine Scandal AIBA Developing Anti-Betting Program For Boxers Photos: Humberto Soto, Daniel Ruiz Prepared For Mexican War Klitschko's Manager: Fury is Most Unworthy Champion in History! Ed Brown, Alejandro Hernandez Ready For Respective Bouts Manny Pacquiao: No Reason To Apologize For Past Drug Use Kovalev, Bellew Backing Cleverly To Overcome Braehmer Nehomar Cermeno's Win Opens The Door For Scott Quigg Clash Peralta Leaves Cab at Home, Heads To Miami With New Coach Photos: Joseph Parker, Alexander Dimitrenko - Ready For War Petrov Talks Linares-Crolla, Promises Fireworks With Perez Tyson Fury Tests Positive For Cocaine! Titles in Jeopardy! Braehmer, Cleverly Make Weight For Long Awaited Clash Mundine Wants To Boycott National Anthem, Eyes Politics Stephen A. Smith on Why Mayweather-Pacquiao 2 is Possible Golovkin's Coach: Ward Fight Impossible - He Couldn't Make 168! Telemundo Weights: Hernandez 122, Dominguez 121 Parker Sees Benefits of Fighting in UK Prior To Joshua Showdown Mike Lee: We've Built Up To This, I'm Ready For It, I'm Excited Bradley: There Are Levels; Vargas Will Find Out Against Pacquiao Billy Joe Saunders vs. Artur Akavov Set For October 22 Adrien Broner vs. Ricky Burns Nearly Finalized For December Roach is Concerned: Pacquiao Looks Tired, Sluggish in Sparring WBC Warns Boxers About Dangers of Consuming Energy Drinks Orlando Cruz: I Won't Rest Until I'm First Gay World Champion! Sanchez: If GGG Breaks Hopkins' Record, Mayweather May Come Chocolatito Drops 112 WBC Belt, Hernandez-Nawaphon Ordered Orlando Salido vs. Takashi Miura Finalized, Dec. 17 on HBO Photos: Mike Lee, Chris Traietti - Ready For Chicago Showdown Jorge Linares Update on Hand Injury, Crolla Rematch Clause Petrov vs. Perez WBA Title Eliminator - Photos, Weights Juanma Lopez vs. Wilfredo Vazquez Pushed Back To Oct. 29 Erick De Leon vs. Aldimar Santos, Oct. 28 on UniMas Eddie Hearn Shakes His Head at Lee Selby's Inactivity Adam Lopez vs. Carlos Valcarcel on November 12 in Philadelphia Photo: Victor Ortiz Mugshot Released For DUI Arrest Callum Smith-Luke Blackledge British Title Clash In Play, Nov. 26 Pacquiao Admits Past Drug Use, Backs Prez's Tough Stance UK News: Kassem vs. Murray, Leather Twins, BoxNation Update Artur Beterbiev vs. Isidro Ranoni Prieto Set For December 23
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement