Earlier today Japanese star, and current WBO Super Flyweight champion, Kazuto Ioka (27-2, 15) [井岡一翔] held a press conference to announce his next bout. To no ones surprise he confirmed what we all already knew, and that he had reached a deal for the unification bout between himself and IBF champion Jerwin Ancajas (33-1-2, 22), which was confirmed for December 31st and will take place at the Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo, with TBS broadcasting the bout in Japan.
The bout had been one both men had spoken about wanting for most of the year, and is a perfect bout to end 2021 with, and it's little surprise to see the bout getting done after both men had been so open about wanting to unify this year year. Especially given the whole situation with the WBC and WBA titles, both held by Juan Francisco Estrada who will face Roman Gonzalez in the new year.
At the press conference today Ioka stated that he wanted to fight the best opponents, and that unification bouts were something special to him.
Whilst Ioka attended the press conference in person Ancajas sent a video stating, "I'm glad that the unification of the throne will be realized. Ioka is one of the best boxers in this class." That was followed by Ioka complimenting Ancajas, and explaining that Ancajas was a top notch and that there was no holes in the way he fights.
Ioka also added that he is wanting to unify all the titles next year. For that to happen he would have to face the winner of the planned third bout between Estrada and Gonzalez.
For Ioka, a 4-weight world champion and the first man from Japan to achieve that feat, the bout will be his second unification bout, having previously unified the WBA and WBC Minimumweight titles way back in 2012. It will also serve as his 4th defense of the WBO Super Flyweight title, and his first of those not to be against a mandatory challenger, and will mark the 10th time he has fought on New Year's Eve.
As for Ancajas the bout will be his first bout in Japan, his first unification bout and his 10th defense of the IBF title, which he has held since September 2016.
At the moment no under-card bouts for this show have been announced, though suspicion is that the show will feature at least one other notable name on it, potentially featuring either a world title bout, or Ioka's Shisei Boxing Gym stablemates Musashi Mori (12-1, 7) [森 武蔵] and Daigo Higa (17-2-1, 17) [比 嘉 大吾].
Earlier today it was announced that the scheduled May 13th show by Ohashi Gym was set to be postponed by 8 days, pushing it from May 13th to May 21st, due to the on going State of Emergency in Tokyo.
The exact announcement stated "We have decided to change the date and time in consideration of the extension in the recent situation." It was also confirmed that tickets will not be available for purchase on the day of the event due.
Despite the delay the show is a really interesting one. It will be headlined by a regional Featherweight unification bout between WBO Asia Pacific champion Musashi Mori (12-0, 7) [森 武蔵] and OPBF champion Satoshi Shimizu (9-1, 9) [清水 聡]. As well as the main event we also get an excellent chief support bout was Kazuki Nakajima (9-0-1, 8) [中嶋一輝] battles Kai Chiba (13-1, 8) [千葉開] for the vacant OPBF Bantamweight title.
Whilst fans will be wanting to watch, sadly the show won't be available to watch live. It will, however, be expected to be shown on tape delay by Fuji TV, who have a distribution deal with Ohashi and show tape delay broadcasts of many of their shows.
Just moments ago a press event in Japan took place to announce that the worst kept secret in boxing, was now official!
The event saw Japanese mega star Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) [井上 尚弥], the unified the IBF and WBA Bantamweight champion, announce his much talked about April 25th bout with WBO champion John Riel Casimero (29-4, 20). Confirming that the venue for the event would be the Mandalay Bay.
At today's event Inoue stated "It's very exciting and I want to fight soon. It's meaningful for a three-group match. First in Las Vegas I want to clear it safely and move on to the next. " [Translated] He also went on to add "Las Vegas is the home of boxing and I'm proud to be the main event," [Translated]
He also went on to explain that he wanted to unify all 4 titles after this, and that this bout was a stepping stone to that.
In regards to Casimero, we saw Inoue explain " He is a wild fighter with the fierceness of a Filipino. He has a dangerous hard punch. I want to fight while paying attention to such a place." [Translated]
One interesting quote from Inoue regarded his reign at Super Flyweight, explaining "I originally wanted to play a unified match for Super Fly. I want to motivate such a matchmaking." [Translated] This wasn't particularly a surprise, given that Inoue called out other Super Flyweight champions, but it's nice to see his desire to unify has continued here and it's been a major focus of his signing with Top Rank.
From what we under-stand the hope was for Casimero to attend the event, but was unable to make it over due to visa issues,
(Image courtesy of daily.co.jp)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!