World Boxing Organization super flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka of Ambition GYM will defend his title against top-ranked Kosei Tanaka of Soul Box Hatanaka Boxing Gym on Dec. 31 at Tokyo’s Ota Ward Gymnasium, Ioka told reporters online.
It will be the 31-year-old Ioka’s second defense of the title he won in June last year. Ioka made a successful defense of the title on that year’s New Year’s Eve.
Ioka, the only Japanese who has won world titles in four different weight divisions. said, ‘’It has been a while since I last fought a Japanese, and fans out there would appreciate that. I am determined to show the difference of class on all fronts.’’
He continued, ‘’The fight with Tanaka is meritless for me. But since he is a designated challenger, and considering the current outbreak of the novel coronavirus infection, it is difficult to invite foreign boxers. Under such circumstances, it should surprise no one that I take on him (Tanaka).’’
Ioka said he wants to fight abroad by citing World Boxing Council world super flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada of Mexico and World Boxing Association super super flyweight champion Roman ‘’Chocolatito’’ Gonzales of Nicaragua.‘’If I keep winning, I will be able to face them (Estrada and Gonzales), Ioka added.’’
Ioka did admit undefeated Tanaka’s record of winning world titles in three different weight divisions, ‘’As the only Japanese boxer who has conquered world titles in four different weight division, I have to prevent him to draw level with me by all means.’’
According to Ioka, he will see to it that his Cuban trainer Ismael Salas, who now resides in the United States, can visit Japan to join him.
Tanaka, who vacated the WBO world flyweight crown last January after defending it three times, is expected to hold a press conference on Nov. 10, and a lot of attention is focused on how he will respond to Ioka’s comments on him.
Ioka has a record of 25 wins, including 14 knockouts, against two losses. The 25-year-old Tanaka, who is based in the central Japanese city of Nagoya, has 15 straight wins, nine by KO. Photo by Ambition gym