ALA Promotions gained another world champion after Japanese Katsunari Takayama dethroned Mario Rodriguez for the International Boxing Federation mini-flyweight crown last Sunday at the Estadio Francisco Carranza Limon in Guasave, Sinaloa, Mexico.
Takayama, the first foreign boxer to sign under ALA Promotions, beat Rodriguez by unanimous decision with scores of 117-111, 119-109 and 115-113.
Takayama joins World Boxing Organization (WBO) light flyweight king Donnie Nietes and interim WBO mini-flyweight titleholder Merlito Sabillo as ALA Promotions’ current world champions.
“Yes, three world champions under ALA Promotions. We knew one day that he would be a world champion because of his skills and intelligence. It was not easy for us to promote him here because Filipinos do not support different nationalities and also he couldn't fight in Japan because of the IBF not being recognized in Japan,” said ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer.
Takayama signed on with ALA Promotions back in 2010 in the Cebu-based boxing promotional outfit’s plan to go global.
The 29-year-old Takayama has already fought five times under the ALA Promotions banner and finally struck gold in his third attempt at the IBF mini-flyweight belt.
“We are here to guide Takayama in his career and help his team with the connections we have with promoters all over the world,” said Aldeguer.
Takayama fought Nkosinathi Joyi twice for the IBF crown in 2011 and 2012 both in South Africa. The first fight ended in a no contest, while the rematch the following year ended in a unanimous decision in favor of Joyi.
Takayama, who has also held world titles in the World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council, improved to 25-6 with 10 knockouts, while Rodriguez dropped to 15-7-4 with 11 knockouts.