Lem Satterfield

Katsunari Takayama to face Francisco Rodriguez on Saturday

RING number-four rated strawweight Katsunari Takayama will face number six-rated Francisco Rodriguez in a title unification bout on Saturday before Rodriguez’s hometown fans at Arena Monterrey in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico

IBF Public Relations Director Jeanette Salazar confirmed the meeting on Thursday.

In his last fight in March,  Rodriguez (14-2, 10 KOs), 21, dethroned previously unbeaten Merlito Sabillo for the WBO title in his third consecutive victory since losing by seventh round stoppage to Roman Gonzalez last September.

Takayama (27-6, 10), 31, was last in action for a unanimous decision over Shin Ono in May for his third consecutive victory. The win was also the second successful defense of the IBF belt he won by unanimous decision over Mario Rodriguez in March of 2013.

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