Is Kazuto Ioka v Kosei Tanaka Finally A Go?
A showdown between current WBO World Super Flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka (25-2, 14 KOs) and former WBO Strawweight, Junior Flyweight and Flyweight Kosei Tanaka (15-0, 9 KOs) has been discussed and rumored to take place throughout 2020. At long last could the fight finally happen?
According to the Japanese online news source, Yukan Fuji, the fight is a done deal. On October 7, they reported via their Twitter page negotiations have been finalized and the bout will take place on December 31.
Discussions of this bout were sparked following Tanaka’s win over Wulan Tuolehazi (14-4-1, 7 KOs) on December 31, 2019, in what was his final defense of the WBO World Flyweight title. On February 4, he and his camp made the decision to vacate the belt and move up the 115-pound division.
They then exercised a rule within the World Boxing Organizations rules that would immediately make him a mandatory contender for Ioka’s title. And on February 6, the sanctioning body ordered a fight between the two.
It was anticipated they would engage in separate bouts to build the hype for the fight. Those plans were thwarted as the sport was put on pause for much of the year due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.
While the online publication did not offer specific details on the exact locale for the fight, the December 31 date makes a whole lot of sense. In Japan, it is customary to stage big world championship events to close out the year.
HOW GOOD IS THIS FIGHT?
Tanaka v Ioka is considered a mega-fight in that part of the world. Both are highly accomplished, as each man has the distinction of being three-time, three-division world champions. Plus, these are cats who bring high-level skills to the table and like to fight. That is a recipe for a potentially great fight.
Hardcore fans who follow the smaller-weights understand this is one of the best matchups in the sport, regardless of weight. Here is hoping it is a reality because if so, fans will be in for a real treat. Stay tuned to 3KingsBoxing on this developing situation.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.