Kazuto Ioka lays the path to undisputed by unification after Francisco Rodriguez Jr title defense
“Undisputed” is the one word that catches the attention of the entire boxing community. The first step towards making that move is unification. That is what WBO super flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka (26-2, 15ko) wants next after the third title defense against former unified minimumweight champion Francisco Rodriguez Jr (34-4-1, 24ko).
The 3kingsboxing.com number ten rated Ioka was ordered for a third consecutive mandatory defense back in June. However, the WBO champion is looking for unification against IBF champion Jerwin Ancajas, which makes this story even more intriguing.
During an interview with RingTV, the Japanese champion announced what the future plans are and why.
“To receive recognition as a pound for pound fighter worldwide meant a great deal to me, as far as respect. I still have goals to gain more recognition in the world. There is much more to achieve. My goal is to unify the belts.”
He would follow-up that by dropping the name of the only other single-belt holder in the division.
“The plan is to win this fight, then hope for a unification fight with the IBF champion (Jerwin Ancajas).”
It clears a path for undisputed if it happens. Before everyone gets excited, there is still the trilogy mega-fight featuring unified champion Juan Francisco Estrada versus Roman Gonzalez set to go down on October 16. Furthermore, the winner has WBC and WBA mandatories to deal with in former champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and WBA ‘regular’ champion Joshua Franco, respectively.
So the road to undisputed is filled with obstacles. Yet, the call for unification at least provides hope when looking towards 2022.
By: Garrisson Bland