A reliable source has informed us that the Ioka Boxing Gym is set to announce a title triple header for May 7th from the Osaka Central City Gymnasium.
The biggest of the three title fights which has been mentioned will see the unbeaten Kazuto Ioka (14-0, 9) attempt to claim the IBF Flyweight title as he battles fellow unbeaten Amnat Ruenroeng (12-0, 5).
Amnat won the IBF title back in January when he defeated Rocky Fuentes in a hard fought decision victory. It was widely expected that he'd "sit his title on ice" until a prospective pay day to fight China's Zou Shiming instead however it appears Amnat, aged 35, has realised he hasn't got time to waste and has accepted Ioka's challenger.
For Ioka this gives him a chance to become a 3-weight world champion, something he made clear he wanted to be when he vacated the WBA Light Flyweight title just a few weeks ago. Ioka had been negotiating with both Amnat and Argentina's Juan Carlos Reveco and although we believe Reveco was the #1 choice there is little doubt that Ioka will be happy to have gotten a fight with Amnat.
As well as Amnat's defense of an IBF title there is also a strong, albeit it continuing, rumour that Katsunari Takayama (26-6-0-1, 10) will be defending his IBF Minimumweight title against fellow Japanese fighter Shin Ono (17-5-2, 2). This bout, one that we mentioned was in the works a short while back, isn't as good as we expected to see from Takayama's point of view though could be seen as a stay busy defense for the talented and likeable "Lighting Kid".
Takayama has been publicly calling out the other champions in unification bouts though now appears to have come to the conclusion that he might as well be busy whilst the top fighters continue to avoid him. Hopefully though his next fight will be with either Merlito Sabillo, Osvaldo Novoa or Hekkie Budler. Of the three other champions it's Budler that seems the mostly likely.
For Ono this is a huge chance and although he is a former OPBF champion he would be a clear under-dog against the exceptional Takayama. Ono, best known for his controversial victory over Omari Kimweri, is talented though should have nothing to trouble Takayama.
The third title bout that is mooted for this same show will feature OPBF Lightweight champion Masayoshi Nakatani (7-0, 5). Although no opponent has yet to be named it's rarely dull to see Nakatani in action.
It was actually a comment from Nakatani that seemed to hint a solid card was being put together for an Osaka show in May and whilst we're still none the wiser on his opponent we can't complain at the fact that this card is already looking like an excellent super show.
We're hoping that this will be televised on TBS though of course as it's yet to be confirmed TBS haven't been able to announce it. All we'll say is sit and wait, we're expecting the full card to be announced in the next 48 hours by Ioka Gym headed by Kazuto's uncle Hiroki Ioka, himself a former 2-weight world champion.
(Image of the Ioka Boxing Logo is courtesy of Ioka Boxing)