International Boxing Federation’s third-ranked super featherweight Kenichi Ogawa of Teiken Boxing Gym is brimming with confidence as he is determined to win the vacant title by beating top-ranked Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov of Tajikistan.
The IBF has ordered both Rakhimov and Ogawa sides to negotiate the fight within the next 30 days, If the negotiations fail, it will go to a purse bid. This is after the undefeated Rakhimov drew with champion Joseph Diaz of the United States, who failed to make the division’s weight in his Feb. 13 title defense against Rakhimov.
Ogawa said, ‘’Honestly, my chance has come at long last. Three years and two months have passed since my fight against Tevin Farmer of the U.S. (whom Ogawa had a split decision win for the vacant title. But the decision later changed to no contest due to Ogawa testing positive for Androstanediol). I never forget the excitement I experienced by fighting at Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino, Events Center, Las Vegas.’’
The 33-year-old Ogawa, who is also ranked fifth by the World Boxing Association, seventh by the World Boxing Organization and 15th by the World Boxing Council, continued, ‘’True I have been ranked in the other world organizations as well. But I cannot forget about the red championship belt (of the IBF). I think my strong feeling about it (IBF) got through.’’
‘’I cannot simply enjoy the mere order to fight (against Rakhimov). There will be no meaning at all unless I capture the title and wear the belt. I am determined to win the belt so that I can return the favor of the gym’s president, manager, stablemates and my fans who have kept supporting me. I will go wherever so long as I can fight through the negotiations,’’ Ogawa added. Ogawa has a record of 25 wins, including 18 knockouts, against a loss and a draw with one no contest.