Ioka-Ancajas: Talks Ongoing For Title Unification Conflict New Yr’s Eve In Japan

Kazuto Ioka isn’t finished pursuing historical past. has discovered that talks are ongoing for Japan’s Ioka to face Philippines Jerwin Ancajas in a deliberate WBO/IBF junior bantamweight title unification bout. Ought to the 2 sides attain a deal, the bout will happen New Yr’s Eve in Japan—a practice that Ioka has loved almost yearly courting again to 2011.

Ioka has held the WBO junior bantamweight title since a tenth-round knockout of Aston Palicte in June 2019. Ancajas at present serves amongst boxing’s longest reigning male titlists, having held the IBF 115-pound crown since September 2016 when he outpointed McJoe Arroyo and which he has defended 9 occasions.

If the battle doesn’t occur, each are anticipated to nonetheless make separate title defenses and with Ioka remaining on the right track to renew his function as a New Yr’s Eve headliner. The second-generation boxer—whose father Hiroki was a two-division champion and the first-ever WBC strawweight champ—is Japan’s solely male boxer to win titles in 4 weight divisions, a feat he achieved in his aforementioned win over Palicte.

Ioka (27-2, 15KOs) denied countryman Kosei Tanaka the identical honor, dominating the beforehand unbeaten three-division champ en path to an eighth-round stoppage final New Yr’s Eve in Tokyo. The win—arguably the perfect of his Corridor of Fame-worthy profession—marked his ninth look atop a present on the year-end vacation, with all however one happening in Japan.

Following the win, Ioka known as for showdowns with the division’s elite—two-division and lineal/WBA junior bantamweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada, former four-division champ Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez and former lineal and two-time WBC junior bantamweight champ Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. His want was by no means granted, as Ioka was as a substitute pressed to honor his WBO obligatory versus number-one contender and former strawweight titlist Francisco ‘Chihuas’ Rodriguez, whom he outpointed this previous September 1st in Tokyo.

Following the win, ioka renewed his declare to face the perfect that the division has to supply. Thus far, the one one to reply the decision is the division’s longest reigning titlist.

Ancajas was additionally among the many sport’s extra lively titlists, having fun with three profitable defenses every in 2017 and 2018 earlier than being slowed to simply two in 2019 after which sidelined all through the pandemic. Ancjas returned to the ring this previous April, scoring a twelve-round factors win over Jonathan Javier Rodriguez in one of many extra entertaining battles throughout his prolonged title reign.

Ought to the battle come to fruition, a win by Ioka will see him add to his already unimaginable standing in his house nation.

Along with his title wins in 4 divisions, Ioka prevailed within the first-ever title unification bout between reigning beltholders from Japan after outpointing Akira Yaegashi of their memorable June 2012 WBC/WBA strawweight title conflict. Ioka went on to win the WBA junior flyweight title later that yr, earlier than shifting as much as win belts at flyweight and junior bantamweight.

A win over Ancajas would see Ioka develop into the first-ever boxer from Japan to develop into a unified titlist in two weight divisions.

The hope is for the battle to be finalized in time to correctly market it, together with making certain that there usually are not any journey points. Japan’s authorities continues to implement strict Covid protocol, together with particular distinctive exemptions required for vacationers from 159 totally different nations together with the Philippines.

Jake Donovan is a senior author for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox–161504 | Ioka-Ancajas: Talks Ongoing For Title Unification Conflict New Yr’s Eve In Japan

Huynh Nguyen

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