WBO World Junior Bantamweight Kazuto Ioka Wins a Major Fight Against the Japanese Boxing Commission
Finally, there seems to be an end to the tension between WBO World junior bantamweight champion Kazuto Ioka (26-2, 15 KOs) and the Japanese Boxing Commission. At a June 12 press conference at the Tokyo Dome Hotel in Tokyo, Japan, in attendance were Ioka and JBC executive head Yuhei Nagata.
At this presser, Nagata issued a direct apology to the champion and his family. He also said the JBC plans to make significant changes moving forward. According to Japanese boxing source Asian Boxing, Ioka accepted the apology. He wants to move on and concentrate on the rest of his career.
(translated from Japanese) “Today I received a direct apology from JBC for a series of alleged doping violations. I have been asking for a direct apology with the utmost importance. It’s not, but I’d like to accept it as an apology. I’ve talked about the anguish I’ve experienced throughout a series of turmoil in many places. . .I’m the only one who was given such a hard time.
JBC acknowledged and adopted all the mistakes I pointed out. We would like to thank all those involved for their efforts to accept such an apology. Now that I’ve got one point, I’d like to focus on the title defense, the effort to win, and the training, just like a sportsman. I hope all the fans will look forward to my next defense.”
The beef between the multi-divisional world champion and the JBC has been much of the talk within Japanese boxing circles. Its roots go back to when the JBC alleged that Ioka failed a drug test during the lead-up to his TKO win over Kosei Tanaka in December 2020.
Maintaining throughout that he did nothing wrong, the 32-year-old from Osaka, Japan took the offensive. He went on a public campaign to declare his innocence. In May of 2021, the JBC issued a statement admitting there were errors in the testing process.
The JBC wields unprecedented power in Japan. Previously when they handed down a ruling, it was set in stone and went unchallenged. Therefore, consider this a major, if not historic victory for Kazuto Ioka outside of the ring. He stood up to the system and won.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.