WBO Orders Kazuto Ioka to Face Kosei Tanaka
3KingsBoxing has learned The World Boxing Organization (WBO) has ordered a fight to take place between the current WBO Super Flyweight champion and Kazuto Ioka (25-2, 14KOs) and mandatory challenger Kosei Tanaka (15-0, 9KOs).
In a February 6 letter to Watanabe Promotions (who promotes Ioka) and Hatanaka Promotions (promoters of Tanaka), the WBO stated the two camps have 20 days upon receipt of the letter to negotiate a fight before it goes to a purse bid. Should the bout end up in a purse bid, the minimum bid would be $100,000.
This move stems from Tanaka deciding to relinquish the WBO World Flyweight title on February 4 and evoking his status as “Super” champion. The distinction that was previously granted to him by the WBO on January 13, 2020.
There have been discussions of a showdown between Ioka and Tanaka for months within Japanese boxing circles. The fight was initially thought to eventually happen once Tanaka was granted the “Super Champion” status.
While both men fight for different promotional companies, they do each fight for Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS). So from a media angle, there would be no issue as far as television rights.
When it comes to boxing in Japan, this is big-time. If you’re a follower of the Little Giants of the sport, you can’t be mad whatsoever. Both Ioka and Tanaka are 3-time, 3-division world champions, and two highly accomplished fighters with stellar resumes. And to boot, their styles are a good mesh to produce a terrific fight.
At this point, it’s a formality and all that needs to happen is each camp iron out the details as to when and where this domestic showdown will take place. At last folks, the previously long-rumored bout looks to be finally happening.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.