By Miguel Rivera
The representatives of World Boxing Council bantamweight champion Luis 'Panterita' Nery and former beltholder Shinsuke Yamanaka are indicating that they are close to an agreement to carry out the rematch in the first week of March on Japanese soil.
Once the deal is officially reached, both sides will inform the WBC that purse bid is not necessary.
Guillermo Brito, director of operations of Zanfer Promotions, who guide Nery, revealed that the negotiations have improved when compared to the past and it is practically a fact that there won't be a purse bid if everything goes as well as it has up to now.
Nery dethroned Yamanaka with a spectacular knockout in four episodes in August, and it was even announced that Yamanaka was thinking about retirement.
However, days after the fight the WBC announced that the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency had detected the substance zilpaterol in his exams, which is why an extensive investigation was opened.
Zilpaterol, determined the WBC, is a substance similar to clenbuterol that could have been acquired by Nery by way of consuming contaminated meat as has happened in previous cases - such as Érik Morales and Francisco Vargas, so the WBC decided to keep Vargas as champion but ordered him to do a rematch with Yamanaka.
The negotiations began in November, after Nery triumphed over Arthur Villanueva in a thrilling duel, and after a month of talks they were expected to go to the purse bid. However, they requested an extension from the WBC and now they are about to close the agreement..
Also, Brito Rodriguez also confirmed that ex-world champion Moisés 'Moi' Fuentes will go for the flyweight title of the WBC on February 4 in Japan against the current champion Daigo Higa, in a high-risk duel for the Mexican fighter given the quality of the Japanese boxer.
Fuentes recently knocked out Mexican contender Ulises Lara, and will return to Japan, where he had previously lost to Kosei Tanaka.