World Boxing Association’s ‘’super’’ and International Boxing Federation’s bantamweight champion Naoya ‘’Monster’’ Inoue of Ohashi Boxing Gym showed an interest in possible match-up with World Boxing Organization super flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka of Shisei Boxing Gym on Jan. 14 after a ceremonial event to commemorate the 30th anniversary of a private TV program specialized on boxing at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall.
While the 28-year-old Inoue did not mention Ioka’s individual name, he did say the fight with him (Ioka) could be possible since the latter is said to be seeking his fifth world title. Also, Inoue said if realized, it would vivify the Japanese boxing world as a whole.
However, Inoue hastened to add that he will never ever move down in weight from his bantamweight (53.52 kg or 118 lbs.). Rather, Inoue insinuated that he may move up in weight to super bantamweight (55.34 kg or 122 lbs.) in the course of events.
Inoue fought with Aran Dipaen of Thailand on Dec. 14 and stopped him in the eighth round to retain the WBA title for the sixth time and the IBF crown for the fourth time.
As for the 32-year-old Ioka, the only Japanese boxer who has become world champions in four different weight divisions, he successfully defended his title for the fourth time by decisioning sixth-ranked Ryoji Fukunaga of Kadoebi Boxing Gym on New Year’s Eve. Ioka tipped the scales at the class limit of 52.1 kg (115 lbs.).