Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Officials Named For Takayama-Rodriguez Jr. Title Unifier

By Jake Donovan

Strawweight titlist Katsunari Takayama travels to Mexico this weekend, where he will face fellow beltholder Francisco Rodriguez Jr. in a bout that marks just the 5th unification bout in the history of the division.

It’s fitting that such a rare occasion also comes with a fresh set of ring officials for both fighters. Veteran referee Samuel Viruet has been named third man for the bout, which takes place at Arena Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico. His last title fight appearance came in Sergey Kovalev's 7th round stoppage of Cedric Agnew in their light heavyweight bout this past March in Atlantic City.

In the event that the bout goes to the scorecards, the fate of both fighters will be placed in the hands of ringside judges Glenn Trowbridge, Waleska Roldan and John Madfis. All four officials are from the United States; none have ever worked a fight involving either fighter. 

Takayama (27-6, 10KOs) welcomed with open arms the decision for the Japanese Boxing Commission to recognize the International Boxing Federation (IBF) after three decades of resistance. The ruling allowed the strawweight titlist to return home a champion after having hit the road in five straight fights, all of which were sanctioned by the IBF. 

Saturday’s bout marks Takayama’s second trip to Mexico, the first coming in a title winning effort versus Mario Rodriguez last March. The bout was the last of the aforementioned five-fight road trip, having since twice defended his belt at home, including a 12-round decision over Shin Ono in May. 

Rodriguez Jr. (14-2, 10KOs) emerged as a champ in emphatic fashion, scoring a 10th round stoppage over previously unbeaten Merlito Sabillo in March. The 21-year old has spent nearly his entire career at home in Mexico, with the exception of 7th round knockout loss to Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez last September in Nicaragua. Three straights win have followed. 

The unification bout is the first for the division since Kazuto Ioka scored a 12-round split decision over Akira Yaegashi in their June ’12 war. The occasion marked the first time in history in which two titlists from Japan met in a unification bout.

Ricardo Lopez, often regarded as the greatest strawweight of all time, was involved in the division’s other three unification bouts. The Hall of Famer scored a 5th round knockout over Alex ‘Nene’ Sanchez in Aug. ’97, before engaging in a pair of closely contested wars with Rosendo Alvarez in 1998, his final two fights as a strawweight before moving up to junior flyweight.

Saturday’s bout will air live on TV Azteca in Mexico and beIn Sports in the United States.

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as the Records Keeper for the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a member of Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Post a Comment - View More User Comments (0)
Top Headlines Joshua vs. Klitschko: Who's Winning the Battle of the Preparation? Nacho Wants Chavez To Use Lara, Mayweather Tactics on Canelo Shakur Stevenson and The Making of The Next Black Superstar Vitali Klitschko Confident Wladimir Will Topple Joshua at Wembley Porter's Coach: 1000% We Can Beat Keith Thurman in Rematch! Martin Murray vs. Gabe Rosado - CompuBox Punch Stats Shawn Porter vs. Andre Berto - CompuBox Punch Stats Imre Szello Stops Toth To Retain WBO Regional Belt in Hungary Pacquiao Aims To Make Statement, Prove He's Still in Top Form Breazeale Ready To Replace Fury - Fight Parker on Late Notice Broner: Somebody Tried to Kill Me, But It's OK; I’m Still Here Pacquiao: I Don't Know Much About Horn, Haven't Seen His Fights Murray on Gabe Rosado's Complaints: I Won The Fight, F*** Him! Team Parker: Hughie Fury Never Wanted To Come To New Zealand Klitschko: Joshua Wants To Be a Billionaire, Must KO Me as Promised Team Fury: Hughie Suffered Lower Back Injury, Not Medically Fit Amir Khan To Keith Thurman: Forget Porter, Fight Me! Kazuto Ioka Shines To Retain WBA Belt, Tapales Wins By TKO Billy Joe Saunders Not Impressed, Vows To Expose Khurtsidze Photos: Oscar Valdez Beats Miguel Marriaga in a Grueling War Photos: Jermell Charlo With BRUTAL Knockout of Charles Hatley Photos: Martin Murray, Gabe Rosado Nearly Brawl Over Scores Photos: Shawn Porter Drops, Mauls Andre Berto For TKO Win Photos: Avtandil Khurtsidze Crushes Tommy Langford in Five Photos: Arthur Abraham Defeats Krasniqi To Secure WBO Shot Billy Joe Saunders vs. Avtandil Khurtsidze on July 8, Copper Box Kevin Lerena vs. Sergio Ramirez at Emperors Palace Anthony Joshua Sees No Reason To Fight in U.S. To Raise Profile Gilberto Ramirez Ready For Golovkin Next: Just Send The Contract! Jermell Charlo: Jarrett Hurd Took My Brother's Title - We Can Unify Keith Thurman: Porter Fought His Way To Earning a Rematch Carlos Castro Stays Undefeated with Decision Over Palacios Oscar Valdez Drops, Decisions Miguel Marriaga in Tough Fight Joseph Parker's Promoter Does Not Believe Hughie Fury is Injured Gilberto Ramirez Dominates Max Bursak To Retain WBO Title Shawn Porter Stops Andre Berto in Nine To Earn Thurman Shot Andre Berto vs. Shawn Porter - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Jermell Charlo Knocks Charles Hatley Unconscious In 6th Round Parker's Promoter is Furious: Hughie Fury Claims He is Injured! Shakur Stevenson Makes Pro Debut, Beats Brito in Five Rounds
Advertisement
Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement