• Kyodo


Katsunari Takayama on Friday announced he will make the second defense of his IBF minimumweight world title in Osaka next month.

Takayama, who defeated Thailand’s Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr. in his first title defense in April, will take on 12th-ranked compatriot Ryuji Hara at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium on Sept. 27.

“Our style is similar but I want to outfight him in every department,” Takayama told a news conference in Osaka.

Takayama will be fighting with a chance to take on WBO minimumweight champion Kosei Tanaka in a unification bout.

Tanaka won the WBO minimumweight crown in May in his fifth pro fight, defeating Julian Yedras of Mexico by unanimous decision. In doing so he established a Japanese record for the fewest fights needed to win a world title.

“I want to get through this match (with Hara) and have a big fight (against Tanaka),” said Takayama.

Hara will be taking his first crack at a world title.

Speaking at a separate news conference in Yokohama, Hara said, “I think I have a better technique (than Takayama). After that it is just about winning.”

Takayama has a 29-7-1 record, including 11 knockouts, while Hara is 19-1 with 11 KOs.

Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium will be renamed Edion Arena from Sept. 1.

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