On December 31st we'll see Kazuto Ioka's (23-1, 13) [井岡一翔] and Donnie Nietes (41-1-5, 23) battle for the WBO Super Flyweight title, with both men looking to become 4-weight champions.
Today, ahead of that fight, Ioka took part in a public work out at the KOD Lab Fitness Boxing gym, the gym owned by former world champion Takashi Uchiyama (24-2-1, 20) [内山 高志].
Ioka told the press that he only wanted to fight in big bouts, and that he wants to mark his name in history by winning a world title in a 4th weight class. He explained that he knows Nietes is a smart fighter, but that he is looking to dictate the pace early on and add more variations to his shots, as he looks to mix up the attacks to get through the defenses of Nietes.
Today's training session saw Ioka work with trainer Ismael Salas, who revealed that Ioka wouldn't fight the same way as he did against McWilliams Arroyo. They were more aggressive against Arroyo due to it being in the US, and it seems like they didn't want to give the judges any chance to score the bout against Ioka.
Today's work out was mostly a simple one, focused on movement and positioning, with Ioka's foot work being given particular focus.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today it was revealed that Masayuki Kuroda (30-7-3, 16) [黒田 雅之] had vacated the Japanese Flyweight title, with the intention to fight for the IBF Flyweight world title in 2019.
It seems like Kuroda is expecting to face the winner of the upcoming bout between Moruti Mthalane (36-2, 24) and Masahiro Sakamoto (13-1, 9) [坂本真宏] within 90 days of their bout, which takes place on December 31st. From what we understand however there is yet to be an official decision made by the IBF in regards to Kuroda's shot.
Due to Kuroda vacating we're now unsure on who will be fighting for the title in the new year. What we do know is that Junto Nakatani (17-0, 12) [中谷 潤人] will fight for the vacant title, though it's unclear who he will be up against. It is worth noting that the #2 ranked Japanese fighter at the weight is Katsunori Nagamine (15-2-1, 11) [長嶺克則] and a bout between Nakatani and Nagamine would certainly be a very attractive proposition for fight fans.
(Image courtesy of boxmob)
Yesterday a join press conference was held in Korea with the Korean Boxing Federation (KBF), Top Fighting Championship (TFC) and The Apex Predators (TAP) Management all being there together to announce the first event of "Annihilation", which will take place on January 19th in Seoul.
The main event of that January card will see Jung Kyoung Lee (6-2-1, 2) [이중경] battling Samuel Colomban (25-10-1, 11) for the OPBF Light Middleweight title.
The joint venture is the first time boxing and MMA management companies will work together in Korea and the hope seems to be that by working together all the promoters win, due to pooled resources. The organisation appear set to follow ONE Championships lead in using a modified boxing ring to hold both MMA and boxing in the same venue, rather than having the need to have different shows for different sports.
For those interested in more details in regards to "Annihilation" the brilliant asianmma.com have covered the press conference in depth here.
Former Japanese and OPBF Middleweight champion Tetsuya Suzuki (29-12, 17) [鈴木哲也氏] has been awarded a "Child Youth Support Award" by the Japanese cabinet due to his out of the ring activities, which have seen him working with youth in his local area with the Yao District BBS Society.
Mr Suzuki began working with people following his career, wanting to give back to the people who had supported him during his fighting career. Apparently there are now around 215 people who are registered with Mr Suzuki and take part in the boxing activities he puts on.
He's not just doing boxing activities but also, along with the members who join him, pick up litter in the local and generally help with the support and assistance of juvenile delinquents as well as children's activities and a canteen for the local kids.
We want to congratulate Mr Suzuki on his recognition and wish him the best in continuing his good work.
Tomorrow fight fans will be able to see Shohjahon Ergashev (14-0, 13) [Шохжахон Эргашев] face off with Argentinian veteran Nazareno Gaston Ruiz (32-17-0-1, 11).
Today the two men took part in their weigh in and our sources are reporting that on the scales Ergashev was the lighter man, at 142.2lbs, whilst Ruiz was 145.5lbs.
Despite being the lighter man it did seem like Ergashev was the naturally bigger, stronger and more powerful man, that however should be no surprise given that Ruiz has fought as low as Super Featherweight during his long career.
(Image courtesy of Sergey Zhoydik)
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