Back on March 13th we told you all to get ready for an big announcement from Ioka Boxing Gym regarding an IBF double header in Osaka. That announcement came earlier today as it was confirmed that Kazuto Ioka (14-0, 9) will attempt to claim the IBF Flyweight title as he battles fellow unbeaten Amnat Ruenroeng (12-0, 5) and 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).
The bouts, as mentioned originally, are scheduled to take place on May 7th though we were wrong on the venue with the bouts being confirmed for the at the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium, AKA the Bodymaker Colosseum, and not the Osaka City gym.
Rather amazingly we seem to have gotten everything but the venue right. It seems, although not widely reported, that OPBF Lightweight champion Masayoshi Nakatani (7-0, 5) will also be in action as we mentioned in the original report. No opponent has been named for Nakatani though we do love to watch the heavy handed and very rangy youngster in action.
As for the fights themselves. The Ioka/Amnat bout will be Amnat's first defense of the IBF Flyweight title whilst it's also the a chance for Ioka to become one of the select few Japanese fighter to have become a 3-weight world champion and to get revenge for a loss in the 2008 Kings Cup when the when the fighters met as amateurs. Incidentally this bout was announced on Ioka's 25th birthday, a lovely birthday present for the Japanese youngster and likely the reason the announcement was delayed longer than we expected.
For Takayama this will be his second IBF title defense whilst Ono will be competing at the world level for the first time in his 24 fight career. A loss for Takayama would see every Minimimumweight world title having changed hands in the last 6 months though he will certainly start as the clear favourite against his compatriot.