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Ioka Comeback Options


PhilBoxing.com



Kazuto Ioka.

It was a heartbreaker of a loss for Kazuto Ioka, going down in defeat right before thousands of his countrymen at the Kokugigan Arena in Tokyo and by unanimous decision to Argentine strongman Fernando Daniel Martinez Sunday night.

Ioka thus ceded his WBA belt to IBF champion Martinez who becomes unified world super flyweight titlist, the first from Argentina if memory serves.

More than the belt, Ioka's reputation as Japan's second best fighter after Naoya Inoue likewise took a hit. There was a time when Ioka was considered as part of the ten best pound for pound fighters in the planet in the company of Inoue.

Latest ranking has seen Junto Nakatani taking over his spot and his recent loss to Martinez did not help in him recovering his once revered place among the world's best fighters.

But knowing Ioka, he will try to come back as soon as possible though his options are quite limited.

There are two possible options Kazuto can come back and become world champion again.

First and the easiest is to challenge the winner of the Kosei Tanaka versus Jonathan Rodriguez fight this July 20 in Japan for Tanaka's WBO super flyweight title which Ioka once held.

A rematch with Martinez would be difficult at this point given the unanimous decision verdict against him. And most surely, the demand would be an immediate clash between Martinez and new WBC champion Bam Rodriguez for the three major belts.

Another option would be for Ioka to move up to the bantamweights and attempt to become Japan's first five division world champion by challenging any of the three other Japanese world champions there that is available, namely Takuma Inoue (WBA), Yoshiki Takei (WBO) or Ryosuke Niida (IBF).

Nakatani is already set to defend his WBC crown also this July 20 against Filipino mandatory challenger Vincent Astrolabio.

We will soon know what direction Ioka will take in the coming days.

The author Teodoro Medina Reynoso is a veteran boxing radio talk show host living in the Philippines. He can be reached at teddyreynoso@yahoo.com and by phone 09215309477.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Teodoro Medina Reynoso.


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