Former two-division world champion Takahiro Ao has decided to trade leathers once again after more than two years of retirement.
Ao (27-3-1-1, 10 Kos) will make a comeback fight on March 1 at Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan in the undercard of double-world title bouts show of Akihiko Honda’s Teiken Promotion. His opponent will be Mexican Gamaliel “El Platano (Banana)” Diaz (40-18-3, 19 Kos) in a scheduled 8-round fight at 62.0 kg (136.75 pounds).
The fight night will be one month and a week before Ao’s 34th birthday and about five years and five months had past since Diaz captured his WBC super featherweight title in October 2012 in Tokyo.
Diaz had 2-9-1 record in his last fights, including when he lost the WBC title to Japanese Takashi Miura by stoppage in April 2013, barely six months after his defining win over Ao.
Diaz will turn 37 years old on Valentine’s Day.
It will be a chance for Ao to get even to Diaz, who dethroned him for the super featherweight title with unanimous decision in 2012.
Ao last fought in May 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Opposing another Mexican, Raymundo Beltran, for the less regarded WBO lightweight title, the fracas was ruled no contest.
The two world championship fights in the first boxing show at Kokugikan this year are the rematch between WBC bantamweight king Luis “Pantera” Nery (25-0, 19 Kos) of Mexico and former title holder Shinsuke Yamanaka (27-1-2, 19 Kos) and the clash between IBF super bantamweight boss Ryosuke Iwasa (24-2, 16 Kos) and Filipino challenger Ernesto Saulong (21-2-1, 8 Kos) of Mindoro Occidental.
Nery dethroned Yamanaka with fourth round knockout in August last year.