Kazuto Ioka recaps making history!
On June 20 in his native Japan, newly crowned WBO super flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka held a press conference to recap his June 19 win over Aston Palicte.
He also covered the emotions of setting history for Japanese boxing and what’s in store moving forward.
Ioka (24-2, 14 KO’s) injured his right hand during the bout. Sporting swelling along his right hand, the new champ was icing it down during portions of the event.
Expressing that he’s tired and feeling the effects of the fight, Ioka stated he’s proud becoming the first Japanese fighter to become a four-time/four-division world champion.
The strategy he employed during the Palicte fight was spot on from beginning to end. It was one of the finest performances of his storied career. He stated a desire to continue to employ the style and perfect it for future fights.
A New Lease on Life
Ioka’s talking of future fights is quite a sea change from his comments during the lead-up to the fight. On June 15, Ioka said that he may well retire if were to lose.
However, during this meet-up with the media, retirement seemed to be the last thing on his mind. In fact the Japanese superstar is talking bigger and better opportunities.
When asked specifically about his future, he had one thing on his mind: unification. Super flyweight is one of the best and hottest divisions in the sport.
It houses the likes of WBC champion Juan Francisco Estrada, WBA champion Khalid Yafai and IBF champion Jerwin Ancajas. Citing he wants to increase his stock and value on an international level, Ioka said he would like a bout against any of the other super flyweight world champions.
One interesting, unspoken name during the presser was current WBO flyweight champion Kosei Tanaka. Already expressing a desire to move up a division in the near future, a bout between Ioka and Tanaka would seemingly be a natural fight to take place.
A showdown between the two would no doubt be a mega-fight in Japan in which both fighters could make a significant amount of money.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.