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Home > Match Information > Ioka’s gym rebuts JBC’s announcement on detection of small amount of hemp substance

Ioka’s gym rebuts JBC’s announcement on detection of small amount of hemp substance

Jun 22, 2023 18:00 pm

Shisei Boxing Gym, to which former World Boxing Organization super flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka belongs, rebutted Japan Boxing Commission’s announcement on June 21 that a small amount of a hemp substance was detected from Ioka’s urine sample when he fought to a draw with World Boxing Association super flyweight kingpin Joshua Franco of the United States in their title unification fight on Dec. 31 last year.

While JBC said the detected amount of the substance called THC-COOH (Carboxy-THC) was far below the average level set by the World Anti-Doping Agency and, therefore, does not run counter to doping violation in accordance with its relevant rules, the Tokyo-based gym made a statement to the effect that Ioka’s rematch with Franco is only a few days away and is baffled by JBC’s sudden announcement on the alleged doping.

The scheduled 12-rounder at Tokyo’s Ota City General Gymnasium is expected to be held on June 24 as initially planned.

But, since JBC is said to be of the view that it may consider imposing some kind of sanction on Ioka. Though the detection of the hemp substance itself may not violate the Article 97 that regulates the prevention of various doping, it thinks such detection is not favorable in light of fostering healthy athletic activities.

The gym said, ‘’We are determined to prove Ioka’s innocence in this respect. We hope Ioka will fight strongly with Franco on June 24 so that JBC, boxing experts and fans will fully understand him.’’

 The 34-year-old Ioka, currently ranked sixth in the division by the WBA, relinquished his WBO title in February as he opted to have a direct rematch with Franco.

 In their first fight, one of the three judges scored the fight 115-113 for Franco, while the remaining two had it 114-114, respectively.

 Ioka, Japan’s only four-division world champion, has a record of 29 wins, including 15 knockouts, against two losses and a draw, while the 27-year-old Franco has an 18-1-3 win-loss-draw tally with eight KOs.

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