Earlier today in Japan former 3 weight world champion Kazuto Ioka (23-2, 13) [井岡一翔] has announced that he has applied to signed a deal with a Japanese gym, allowing him to fight as a JBC licensed fighter for the first time since 2017, when he beat Noknoi Sitthiprasert.
The fighter, who was once based at his father's gym in Osaka, announced that he will be linking up with the reason gym in Saitama, in what seems to be less a deal of promotional backing and more about allowing him to fight in Japan and contribute to boxing in Japan.
At today press conference the fighter stated "I think the command will be coming soon. It will move in the direction of Tokyo in around June" [Translated], essentially admitting that this is left with the JBC to sign off on, though there isn't likely to be any issues.
The fighter also added "Rather than continue in the current state, JBC will also be indebted to Reason Daiki Gym for JBC. Contributing to Japanese boxing rather than going in this form Feeling that I want to do something, if I can tell you what I am doing in Japan. In order to make it an option to fight in the domestic ring, according to the existing rules, the talk was settled as the gym belonging. From now on, he owns professional licenses from both Japan and the United States. I will go back and forth from home and abroad and repeat games and exercises." [Translated]
Since leaving the gym of his father, back in 2017, Ioka has fought twice. Once in the US, promoted by Tom Loeffler, and once in Macau, where gaming machine maker " SANKYO " essentially secured the bout and acted as the promoter.
This announcement suggests that his rumoured bout with Aston Palicte (25-2-1, 21) for the WBO Super Flyweight title, is likely to take place in Japan in the summer. In theory it would still likely be backed, financially, by TBS, but there's then the possibility of it appearing on Boxing Raise, who have yet to show a male world title bout. One thing that is clear is that this opens major doors back home for Ioka and his fans.
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