Ioka On Upcoming Battle With Perez: “I Will Definitely Win”

Kazuto Ioka Vows To Defeat Josber Perez

Collage of Kazuto Ioka Josber Perez
Kazuto Ioka (L, Credit Naoki Fukuda) | Josber Perez Credit: WBA

Is Ioka in Danger of a Letdown Performance Against Perez?

Kazuto Ioka (30-2-1, 15 KOs) is a fighter who believes in tradition and standards. It’s the reason he upholds the Japanese boxing tradition of a world championship card on New Year’s Eve. He’s hell-bent on not letting down his countrymen when defending the WBA super bantamweight title on December 31 against Josber Perez (20-3, 18 KOs) in Tokyo. 

Ioka Is coming off a twelve-round unanimous decision victory over Joshua Franco in June 2023 to win the WBA strap. He had hoped for a unification showdown against reigning WBC champion Juan Francisco Estrada on New Years Eve. But they could not agree to a deal.


Over the past several years, it has been customary for a reigning Japanese world champions to defend their title on home soil on December 31. During an exclusive interview with Ring Magazine, Ioka views this an obligation and promises to handle his business against Perez. 

(Translated from Japanese) “There are many boxing fans who are looking forward to my fight on New Year’s Eve […] This will be the 12th time for me to have a title match on New Year’s Eve. 

I feel it is my mission to fight on New Year’s Eve, and I will definitely win this bout. I will become the unified champion in 2024.”


With the disappointment of not fighting Estrada, some boxing fans feel Ioka could be at risk of not being motivated going into the Perez fight. Then there is the fact that the defending champion is 34 years old and is in his fifteenth year as a pro. 

A future Hall of Fame Inductee and a four-division world champion, Ioka has been the definition of a pro’s pro. But all it takes is one time for a fighter to have an off night or get old in one fight. 

Will the Japanese fistic legend stay driven and hold form against Perez? That’s his modus operandi in yet another ring appearance on December 31 in front of his home country. 

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About Mike W.1996 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for