In fact we suggested there would be a major bout involving a fighter from the Ioka gym, and today we were proven right as two of the under-card bouts from the show were revealed.
One of those was an OPBF Lightweight title defence by Ioka fighter Masayoshi Nakatani (14-0, 8) [中谷 正義], who seeks his 8th defense of the title as he takes on Filipino challenger Ryan Sermona (20-8-1, 13), who enters as the #1 contender. On paper it's another predictable looking defense for Nakatani, but given he is now world ranked by the WBC, IBF and WBA it seems only a matter of time before the elongated Japanese fighter finally gets a shot at a bigger title. For Sermona the bout sees him return to Japan, where he has previously lost to Shingo Eto and Masayuki Ito, in search of his first win on Japanese soil.
The talented Japanese fighter won the title back in 2014, upsetting Yoshitaka Kato, and has defended it against the likes of Ricky Sismundo, Futoshi Usami, Allan Tanada and Kaewfah Tor Buamas. Although yet to win in Japan Sermona has had some success on the road, stopping Matt Garlett in Australia and Taek Min Kim in South Korea, and will be looking to score his third international win.
Another title bout announced for this show is a Japanese Minimumweight title defense, which will see Reiya Konishi (12-0, 5) [小西 伶弥] defending his title against former world title challnger Shin Ono (20-8-3, 4) [小野 心]. Konishi won the title earlier this year, out pointing Masataka Taniguchi, and is taking on a decent first challenger, though we do wonder how Ono gets a 5th title bout in the space of 4 years without a genuinely notable win. during that time.