Kai Ishizawa still has the chance to avenge his lone career defeat.

It won’t any longer come with a major title at stake.

The first time challenger from Sagamihara, Japan faces disciplinary action but at least still has a fight to look forward to after badly missing weight ahead of his rematch with WBO strawweight titlist Masataka Taniguchi. Friday’s show will proceed at the famed Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, though with its main event barely intact.

Ishizawa (10-1, 9KOs) put his fight with Taniguchi in jeopardy after weighing 110 pounds on his second attempt, well above 105-pound strawweight limit for his originally planned challenge of Taniguchi’s WBO title. The 25-year-old challenger was 110 ½ pounds on his first try.

As a result, Ishizawa is no longer eligible to claim the belt even if he were to win the scheduled 12-round main event Friday evening. Additionally, he cannot weigh more than 111.5 pounds—3 kilograms above the contracted limit—during a same-day weight check Friday morning to proceed with the fight.

Tanaguchi (15-3, 10KOs) weighed right at the 105-pound limit for the first defense of the title he claimed in an eleventh-round knockout of Wilfredo ‘Bimbito’ Mendez (17-2, 6KOs) last December at Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo. The local favorite still has to avoid defeat on Friday to retain his title, even without the belt being at stake for Ishizawa. A loss by Taniguchi will result in the title being declared vacant by the WBO.  

The bout is a rematch to their September 2019 meeting at this very venue, where Taniguchi claimed an eight-round, unanimous decision victory. The win ignited his current four-fight win streak following a previous title bid where he dropped a twelve-round decision to then-WBO titlist Vic Saludar in February 2019, also at Korakuen Hall.

Ishizawa has won four straight following his lone career defeat. All four wins have come in an active 15-month stretch, including an eighth-round knockout of unbeaten Katsuki Mori on January 11 at this same venue where he will now appear for the eleventh time in twelve career fights.

Friday’s main event is part of PBX Phoenix Battle 87, which will air live on Japanese IPTV service Hikari TV.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox