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 Quigg: I Have To Keep Winning, Build Buzz For Frampton Rematch Bob Arum Reflects on Kicking Out Anthony Mundine, Praises Horn Paul Gallen Losing Hope of Landing Sonny Bill Williams Clash Amir Khan Family Dispute To Be Part of New Reality Show? Anthony Joshua Sees No Need To Use Chisora-Whyte WWE Tactics Roach: Pacquiao-Crawford Possible, I like Pacquiao-Canelo Better Joselito Velazquez To Face Eduardo Casimero in Pro Debut Abel Sanchez: Ruiz, Parker Will Hit Each Other, Hurt Each Other Will Khalid Yafai Expand the Picture at 115? Jackson: Kovalev Was 5-1 After Six, Was 3-3 With Ward in Last Six Molina Warns Joshua: You Slip Up Once and You Will Be Dancing! Oleksandr Usyk Eyes World Titles Held By Gassiev, Tony Bellew Julian Williams: Being Underrated and Overlooked Ends Saturday Chocolatito's Manager Outlines The Options For 2017 Photos: Joseph Parker vs. Andy Ruiz Weigh-In - Ready For War Photos: Cuellar vs. Mares, Charlo vs. Williams - Final Presser Marco Huck vs. Noel Gevor Eliminator Order By The IBF Briggs Warns Hearn: Keep Joshua Away From Me and He'll Rule! Misha Aloian of Russia Loses Olympic Silver After Failed PED Test Photos: Chavez Jr. and Britsch - Go Face To Face at Final Presser Crawford: Me and Molina Can Box It Out, Bang It Out Or Whatever British Board Admits Decision on Chisora Did Not Come Easy Joseph Parker Signs Up With VADA, Will Be Testing in Ruiz Bout Photos: Crawford vs. Molina - Face To Face at Final Presser Video: Hearn Talks Crazy Week - Shannon Briggs Crashes Interview! Whyte vs. Chisora is STILL ON - But No British Title! Andy Ruiz: Everyone's Underestimating Me, But I'm In Great Shape Jose Pedraza: Gervonta Davis Will Leave Ring With First Career Loss Photos: Anthony Joshua, Eric Molina - Face To Face at Final Presser Lee Haskins Suffers Leg Injury, Out Of Dec 31 IBF Defence Cueller vs. Mares Undercard - Facebook Stream By Showtime Photos: Erik Skoglund, Sven Fornling, Mikaela Lauren on Weight Molina Not Worried About Judging in Crawford's Hometown Stiverne Says Goal is 'Fake Champion' Wilder, Tabs Parker To Win BBBofC To Hold Meeting, Discuss Whyte-Chisora Altercation Roach: Cuellar Said He Was Never Learning Anything At Garcia's Gym Chavez's Trainer: If Julio is Well Prepared - He Beats Golovkin! Frank Warren Gives Thoughts on Billy Joe Saunders' Poor Form Molina Reacts To David Haye's Prediction: He is Nothing in America! Jeff Horn, Lenny Zappavigna Lead Aussie Charge This Weekend
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement