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Kazuto Ioka Set to Defend WBO-115 Belt against Ryoji Fukunaga in Japan on New Year’s Eve


PhilBoxing.com




Japanese star Kazuto Ioka is set to make the 4th defense of his WBO Super Flyweight world title against hard-hitting compatriot Ryoji Fukunaga on New Year’s Eve at the Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan.

Ioka was initially ready to fight IBF champ Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas (33-1-2, 22 KO’s) on that very date, but the hot unification rumble had to be scratched because of travel restrictions in Japan due to the new Omicron variant.

With Ancajas unable to fly to Japan, Ryoji Fukunaga steps up to the plate, more than willing to seize day; and his impending fast-approaching war against Ioka gaining considerable appeal to Japanese boxing fans.

That’s because the champion Kazuto Ioka (27-2, 15 KO’s) is the only Japanese boxer in history to claim world titles in four different weight classes; while the slugger new challenger Fukunaga (15-4, 14 KO’s) is the current National champion of Japan, as well as the WBO Asia-Pacific titlist and the reigning OPBF champ.

So yes, the clash pits two of the top 115-pound warriors from the land of boxing legends of Fighting Harada and Yoko Gushiken.



If Ioka emerges victorious – as his many fans expect – it is very likely that he would still want to unify against the 29-year-old Ancajas, a protégé of Filipino presidential candidate Manny Pacquiao.

If that unification rumble cannot happen, then probably Ioka would consider a collision against the dangerous #1 ranked Srisaket Sor Rungvisai of Thailand, or a rematch against skilled Filipino veteran #2 ranked Donnie Nietes. Time will tell.

Right now, the more-experienced, more known and more accomplished Kazuto Ioka is decidedly the super favorite among bookies and betting fans, as well as the far more popular of the two.

That’s because for ages the 32-year old Ioka has been a celebrity in Japan, with news about his life frequently appearing in magazines, TV and social media.

In fact, Kazuto Ioka – together with “Monster” Naoya Inoue and Ryota Murata are the three golden boys of Japanese boxing today, their fights capturing the full attention of boxing fans and casual sports fans alike.

The interesting Ioka vs Fukunaga rumble on New Year’s Eve is promoted by Shisei Promotions, live in Japan on TBS.

May the Best Man Win!


The author Carlos Costa can be reached at carlos512@hotmail.com and WhatsApp +639184538152.

#IokaFukunaga


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Carlos Costa.


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