Kazuto Ioka to Close Out 2019 Against Mandatory Challenger Jeyvier Cintron
3KingsBoxing has learned that four-time, four-division world champion Kazuto Ioka will return to the ring on December 31. He will defend the WBO Super Flyweight title against mandatory challenger Jeyvier Cintron in Tokyo, Japan. Fight fans last saw the 29-year old Ioka (24-2, 14 KO’s) scoring an impressive tenth-round stoppage over Aston Palicte, claiming the WBO Super Flyweight title on June 19.
Ioka is signed to Tokyo Broadcast Station (TBS). TBS annually stages an event to close out the boxing calendar in Japan. Word had been swirling among Japanese boxing media circles that TBS may close out 2019 with Ioka battling current WBO Flyweight champion Kosei Tanaka. Tanaka stands as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport, according to many boxing pundits.
However, in late August, Tanaka surprisingly announced that he plans to stay at flyweight. His current aim is to seek a unification bout in that division. So for the time being, an Ioka – Tanaka bout will remain on the shelf. This paves the way for Ioka to make this upcoming mandatory defense against Cintron.
Also signed to TBS is Tanaka himself. Along with his decision to stay at flyweight, he also expressed a desire to have one more fight before the end of the year. Could that mean we see Kosei Tanaka fight on the undercard of Ioka – Cintron?
As for Ioka’s mandatory challenger Jeyvier Cintron (10-0, 1 No Decision), he is a 24-year old from Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Having earned the mandatory position with a unanimous decision win over former WBA “Interim” World Flyweight champion Koki Eto on August 2, the Puerto Rican will be the significant underdog fighting on the champion’s home turf.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.