Juan Francisco Estrada vs Kazuto Ioka in Negotiations for NYE
Reigning WBA junior bantamweight champion Kazuto Ioka (30-2-1, 15 KOs) and two-division world champion Juan Francisco “El Gallo” Estrada (44-3, 28 KOs) are two of the elite lower-weight fighters in the world over the past decade. Now it appears that they are on a collision course. According to ESPN Knockout, negotiations are under way for them to face each other on December 31 in Japan.
THE BEST OF THE BEST
Ioka has won world titles in four weight classes and is one of the best fighters in the history of Japanese boxing. The 34-year-old won the WBA belt via a unanimous decision victory in a rematch against Joshua Franco in June 2023.
Estrada is a former unified champion at 112 and 115 pounds. But the 33-year-old has yet to fight in 2023. The most recent outing for the fighter from Mexico was a majority decision win in his trilogy bout with future Hall of Famer Roman Gonzalez in December 2022.
Both fighters are superior technicians who share many of the same attributes. Ioka and Estrada can box on the outside, are effective at close range, are defensively sound, and have respectable punching power.
Ioka and Estrada have had an eye on fighting each other. Gallo was ringside for Ioka’s first fight with Franco in December 2022. Ioka vs Estrada would be a fight that observers of the lower-weight classes have long coveted. Although both fighters are getting up there in age, it would be one of the better matchups at 115. Stay tuned to 3Kings Boxing for additional updates on this potential bout.