Earlier today members of the public and media were able to see former 2-weight world champion Kazuto Ioka (14-0, 9) take part in 12 rounds of hard sparring ahead of his world title fight with unbeaten Thai Amnat Ruenroeng (12-0, 5).
Ioka spent the session sparring 4 rounds with 3 separate partners including former world title challenger Atsuhsi Kakutani, who was also part of the preparations used for Naoya Inoue's recent victory over Adrian Hernandez, and Sho Ishida, a stable mate of Ioka's at the Ioka Gym.
After the 12 rounds of sparring Ioka then proceeded on to other part of training including working the speed ball and working on various other things.
Although the sparring was hard Ioka looked phenomenal through out and seemed to know that he was to pick it up for the the final 30 seconds of each round. We're expecting him to put that in to practice when he fights Ruenroeng on May 5th.
Although it's still almost a month from the fight it seems that excitement is building both the Ioka gym and the Japanese ahead of the bout. It seems like Ioka knows this will be one of the toughest fights of his career and he has really amped up training already with many feeling he's looking stronger, sharper and more mentally tuned in than he usually is ahead of bouts.
Interestingly, for a man with just 14 professional bouts, this will be Ioka's 5th world title fight against a Thai, none of the previous 4 have managed to see out the distance far, with 2 of the previous Thai's being unbeaten before Ioka got to them.
(Image thanks to Boxingnews.jp)
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