Japan's Kenichi Ogawa will be stripped of his junior lightweight world title by the IBF and has been suspended for six months by the Nevada State Athletic Commission at its monthly meeting on Wednesday for failing a prefight drug test in December.
In his first fight in the United States, Ogawa controversially outpointed Tevin Farmer by split decision to win a vacant 130-pound world title in an HBO-televised bout on Dec. 9 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. But in a urine test conducted by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association on Dec. 5 -- the results of which were not returned until after the bout -- Ogawa was positive for two forms of androstanediol (synthetic testosterone).
Ogawa's postfight drug test on fight night was negative, but the A sample and B sample of his prefight test days earlier were both positive.
After receiving a continuance earlier this year, Ogawa's case went before the commission on Wednesday -- immediately after Canelo Alvarez also was suspended for six months for two positive tests in February for the banned performance-enhancing drug clenbuterol that caused his May 5 rematch with unified middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin to be canceled.
Ogawa, who admitted to having the banned substances in his system but said he never knowingly took them, and Nevada reached an adjudication agreement before the meeting, and the commission adopted it in a 5-0 vote.
He was suspended for one year, but Nevada rules allow any suspension to be reduced by 50 percent for cooperation. Ogawa cooperated with the commission, and it reduced his penalty to six months. He is eligible to fight again when the suspension is lifted on June 9, six months from the date of the positive test.
Ogawa, 30, also was fined $14,000 -- 20 percent of his $70,000 purse -- and that has to be paid before the commission will lift his suspension. The commission could have suspended him for up to two years and fined him as much as $21,000 (30 percent of his purse).
In addition, Ogawa is subject to additional drug testing at his own cost if he is going to fight again in Nevada. Meanwhile, the result of the fight was changed to a no contest, reducing Ogawa's record to 22-1 with 17 knockouts.
Once the IBF receives confirmation of the suspension order and the result change, IBF president Daryl Peoples told ESPN the organization will strip Ogawa of his world title belt.
With Ogawa facing a suspension, the IBF earlier this month had ordered Farmer, a 27-year-old southpaw from Philadelphia (whose new record is 25-4-1 with 5 knockouts), and former featherweight world titlist Billy Dib (43-4, 24 KOs), 32, of Australia, to fight for the interim title.
With Ogawa set to be stripped, the fight between Farmer and Dib will instead be for the vacant title, Peoples said. They have until May 3 to make a deal or a purse bid will be ordered.