Earlier today it was announced that unbeaten Japanese fighter Kazuto Ioka (14-0, 9) was set to vacate his WBA Light Flyweight title.
Ioka, pictured, may only have 14 fights under his belt but he has already become a 2-weight world champion and unified world titles. He now seems set to turn his attention to the incredibly packed Flyweight division which features more top class fighters than any other division on the planet.
Prior to vacating Ioka had made 3 defenses of the Light Flyweight title after having previously unified WBC and WBA belts at Minimumweight showing his world class ability in the process.
Upon vacating his Light Flyweight title Ioka requested the WBA to rank him at Flyweight giving him an opportunity to fight for a third divisional world title in his first fight in his new division.
This move has come as a bit of a surprise. Just weeks ago it seemed likely that Ioka was wanting either a unification fight or a bout with WBA #1 ranked Randy Petalcorin. Whilst we knew he was going to move up to 112lbs at some point it seemed like something that would have made more sense had he waited a little longer, especially when you consider just how easily he made weight for his most recent bout.
With Flyweight being a very tough division we'd expected to see in at least 1 if not 2 or 3 bouts to allow him to settle at the weight. There is no easy title there and no obvious champion for him to aim for now that former foe Akira Yaegashi is lined up to fight Roman Gonzalez.
(Picture courtesy of Ioka gym, shows Kazuto landing a right hand on Jose Alfredo Rodriguez in the fight that saw Ioka winning the 108lbs title)
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