On April 23rd we'll see WBA Flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka (21-1, 13) [井岡一翔] return to the ring to take on Thai challenger Noknoi Sitthiprasert (62-4, 38) [นกน้อย ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท], with Ioka looking to score a 14th win in a world title bout.
Today, ahead of his upcoming bout, Ioka took part in a public work out which invovled a short public spar with OPBF ranked Pablo Carrillo (20-4-1, 12), himself a former opponent of Ioka.
As well as the spar Ioka, and his team, spent time talking about his upcoming bout and his place in Japanese boxing. It was clear that he knows the significance of his 14th world title fight win, tying the Japanese record of Yoko Gushiken, and that whilst that is an important achievement it's not the only thing he's chasing.
Ioka seemed confident that he had learned from his previous bout, had focused on defense coming into this bout and was looking to use his speed and combinations to score a 4th straight stoppage in a world title defense.
Interestingly it was also suggested that talks would begin again for a showdown between Ioka and Chinese star Zou Shiming (9-1, 2) [邹市明], the current WBO champion. It seems the Ioka camp are hoping to get that bout sorted for Autumn if they can.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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