This past weekend we saw Japan's Kazuto Ioka (23-1, 13) [井岡一翔] end his retirement, and return to the ring with a stellar victory over McWilliams Arroyo (17-4, 14) to claim the WBC Silver Super Flyweight title.
On the same card we also saw Donnie Nietes (41-1-5, 23) fight to a draw with Aston Palicte (24-2-1, 20) in a bout for the WBO Super Flyweight world title. As a result of that draw the title remains vacant, which it has been since Naoya Inoue moved to Bantamweight,
Early today Japanese sources have started to report that the plan for Ioka is to return at the end of this year and to face off with Nietes for the vacant WBO Super Flyweight world title. A title both men are chasing to become a 4-weight world champion. The bout seems to be something that Ioka's team are working on, and his win over Arroyo should assure him of a very high WBO ranking. Inoue is looking to become the first ever male fighter to become a 4-weight champion from Japan whilst Nietes wants to become the third 4-weight champion from the Philippines.
From what we have been told the bout could take place in either the Philippines or Japan, likely depending on whether Ioka would have a struggle to get a Japanese license, though would be held in conjunction with a Japanese TV channel, likely TBS.
It's unclear if this would be part of a Kyokugen show on New Year's Eve, though if it is it seems like TBS may end up having a lot of fighters all looking for a place on their broadcast with a triple header already being rumoured for the date. If Ioka is added it could well end up being the first ever Japanese quadruple would title show!
According to the sources the Japanese fighter is then pencilled in to return to fighting Stateside in 2019 on Superfly 4, which is expected to take place in Spring next year. That card is likely to feature the anticipated rematch between WBC Super Flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (46-4-1, 41) [ศรีสะเกษ นครหลวงโปรโมชั่น] and Mexican challenger Juan Francisco Estrada (37-3, 25) , who won in the main event of this weekend's Superfly card. If Ioka and Nietes do fight in December then the winner of that would probably face Palicte in a WBO title defense on Superfly 4.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today ONE Championship held a press conference for their October 6th card in Bangkok. Among the attendees today were WBC Super Flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (46-4-1, 41) [ศรีสะเกษ นครหลวงโปรโมชั่น], aka Wisaksil Wangek, and his upcoming challenger Iran Diaz (14-2-3, 6), who will face off on the show.
At the press event Srisaket spoke about how he was excited to be performing in front of the Thai fans, and how he wanted to thank everyone involved in bringing such a big fight to Thailand, as well as thanking the fans. He seemed fully aware of his significant the bout is, not just for him but for ONE Championship and combat sport in Thailand, as ONE looks to build it's profile across Asia.
Diaz, who looked calm and like he was really enjoying the whole event whilst taking numerous selfies, stated the the opportunity was an important one for him. He described Srisaket as one of the best pound for pound fighters, and described him as very strong, but made it clear that he feels he's good enough to win, and that his style will defeat that of Srisaket.
It's obvious that both fighters are looking forward to the contest, and neither seemed to struck by nerves at all today. Both seemed pretty respectful, despite all the selfies Diaz took, and both seemed to be excited about their October 6th clash and the potentially huge audience the bout will have.
(Image courtesy of Thairec.com)
On October 6th we'll see WBC Super Flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (46-4-1, 41) [ศรีสะเกษ นครหลวงโปรโมชั่น], aka Wisaksil Wangek, make his next defense, as he faces off with little known Mexican fighter Iran Diaz (14-2-3, 6) at the Impact Arena in Bangkok on a ONE Championship card.
Ahead of that bout the two men have to go through some promotional events, the first of which will take place tomorrow, August 28th, and will see both men go face to face for the first time.
The event is to help build up interest for the card and should be a chance for the two men to see size each other up, get a chance to meet the man they will be facing and have some more details about the contest being revealed, including the official announcement of the modified ring the card will have, with 5 ring ropes.
For those wanting to watch the card it has been revealed that Workpoint will be showing the show in October, which should mean there will be international streams and fans around the globe have shown interest in watching the bout, thanks to Srisaket's incredible rise over the last few years. For Diaz however the whole event will be something crazy, with the Mexican having never fought a world title bout before, never mind one on a show like this.
(Image courtesy of One Championship)
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