Earlier today the WBO ordered their Super Flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka (26-2, 15) [井岡一翔] to begin negotiations with their mandatory challenger Francisco Rodriguez Jr (33-4-1, 24).
The WBO, who sent out and shared their email regarding the situation, states that the two teams are being given 30 days, starting June 1st 2021, to negotiate their fight. If that negotation period fails to secure a deal the teams will then go to purse bids.
If purse bids are required the minimum bid is $100,000 (USD).
Firstly we need to state we absolutely love this match up, and it was #2 in our "Five For... Kazuto Ioka" following his win over Kosei Tanaka at the end of 2020, however we do need to wonder what is going on at the WBO.
Ioka last TWO bouts were both mandatory defenses, against Jeyvier Cintron and Kosei Tanaka, meaning that Ioka may well be the first fighter to make 3 suessive mandatory defenses of a single title. A bit of and oddity. Especially given those 3 fights will have taken place in less than 2 years, whilst other divisions rarely have mandatory defenses, in fact the last WBO Heavyweight mandatory challenger was Alexander Povetkin, back in September 2018, and even then the WBO seemed to insert him ahead of Oleksendr Usk to tidy things up...whilst Usyk continues to wait.
Whilst that sounds like we are complaining, we'll again state we LOVE the idea of Ioka Vs Rodriguez, and would love it if the WBO started to force champions to face top ranked contenders more often, rather than allowing weak top 15 challengers left right and centre. This is a match that should get the juices of fans flowing, and should be regarded as a brilliant match up.it's just strange, and inconsistent on behlaf of the WBO, to make one champion make 3 successive mandatory defenses, whilst other seem capable of having multiple voluntary defenses.
If this is a new age of the WBO, where weak challengers won't be accepted, then this is a great day, but in reality, it seems likely to be an anomaly, and a rather odd one given they have Dilan Prasovic ranked at Cruiserweight and Joseph Agbeko is ranked #1 at Bantamweight. Guess it's fair to end this by stating the WBO are still as inconsistent as ever!
Earlier today the WBO issued a notice regarding the situation of their Flyweight champion Junto Nakatani (21-0, 16) [中谷 潤人] and his mandatory title defense against Puerto Rican challenger Angel Acosta (22-2, 21).
The bout, which had been strongly rumoured for May 29th before parts of Japan were put under their latest State of Emergency ended those rumours, will now see purse bids take place on June 1st at the WBO headquarters.
The minimum permitted bid is $80,000 (USD), and the notice has been sent to openly to promoters willing to host the bout.
Rumours, for a long time, was that terms had been reached between the fighters, though those plans had been left in limbo due to the pandemic, which is likely to continue to be an issue for the forseeable future.
From the pomoters interested we will likely see Teiken make a bid to get the bout in Japan, though could also see several bouts over in the West, with Acosta's promoter certainly being interested in getting their man home advantage, or even getting the bout held in the USA. Interestingly a bout in the US is something that Nakatani would likely be happy about, as he has been about wanting to fight in the US and has, prior to the pandemic, travelled Stateside for training camps.
With the purse bid set for June 1st the bout will hopefully have a date and venue sorted soon and we can see both of these talented, and exciting, fighters back in the ring sooner rather than later.
Earlier this week a letter from the WBO explained that a planned bout between WBO female Minimumweight champion Etsuko Tada (20-3-3, 7) [多田悦子] and Vietnamese fighter Thi Thu Nhi Nguyen (4-0, 1), set for February 27th, has had to be postponed.
The bout, which was agreed to take place in Vietnam on a Cocky Buffalo promoted show, has been nixed due to issues with Japanese fighters leaving the country.
At the moment the JBC (Japan Boxing Commission) will not be certified to compete away from home due to the travel restrictions caused by the on going pandemic. As a result the bout has been postponed for the foreseeable future.
The bout is now expected to be taking in place in April, though there is still no guarantee that an April date will be possible given the on going developments of Covid19.
Originally Nguyen was supposed to face Ayaka Miyao [宮尾 綾香] for the then vacant title in September. Covid19 scuppered that bout, with Miyao facing Tada for the title, and Tada stopping Miyao with one of the best female KO's we've ever seen, to claim the belt. That bout took place with the understanding that the winner was expected to defend against Nguyen. As seen by the WBO letter the unbeaten Vietnamese fighter is waiting in the wings, and will be expecting her shot sooner rather than later.
To end a pretty awful 2020 we get a genuine super fight as WBO Super Flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka (25-2, 14) [井岡一翔] defends his title against 3-weight world champion Kosei Tanaka (15-0, 9) [田中恒成] in Tokyo tomorrow.
With the big fight taking place in less than 24 hours, we've decided to take a look at the updated odds, and see who the favourite is, what the bookies see the most likely outcome as, and what other markets are available on the fight.
As we've seen pretty much from the start Tanaka is the betting favourite. When we looked at the odds just over a week ago he was 8/15 to win. Since then his odds have drifted somewhat and he's now available at 8/13. He's still the favourite, but less of one than he was. As for Ioka he has shortened from a 7/4 under-dog to a 3/2 under-dog. They aren't huge shifts, but they are notable shifts.
Interestingly the draw is still available at 16/1, the same price it was a week ago, though some bookies have seeming had money on the market, with one online website pricing it at 12/1 now.
A decision win for Tanaka a week ago was 21/20, it's still essentially the same, at 11/10, and is still regarded as the most likely outcome. A decision for Ioka is now 9/4, after having been 5/2 last week, again a small change but not a massive one. A Tanaka stoppage was 15/4 a week ago, and that has now drifted massively up to 5/1, perhaps a sign that picking Winning gloves isn't going to result in a stoppage for the "KO Dream Boy". A stoppage for Ioka is the same as it was a week ago, at 9/1, a genuinely huge price.
With neither man expected to score a stoppage the bout is expected to go the distance. A week ago the bout was 2/7 go the complete scheduled and it's pretty much the same now, at 1/3. It was 5/2 to end early a week ago, and that's typically the same price we've found, though one bookie is an outlier at 14/5.
As with a week ago the "total rounds" market is set high, at 10.5 rounds and the over is still 1/4. The under is however available at 10/3 for those who look around, slightly better than the 11/4 that you could get a week ago.
Arguably the most interesting market here is the "To be Knocked down" market. Here we see Ioka at 2/1 to be dropped at any point, and Tanaka at 3/1. We can't help but feel that's a little bit confusing as Ioka has only been down twice in his career, once against Heri Amol back in 2010 and once Stamp Kiatniwat in 2016. With Tanaka wearing Winning gloves, which are well known for protecting hands and not for their power, we would be fairly surprised to see Ioka hit the canvas. Tanaka however has been down against Vic Saludar, Palangpol CP Freshmart and Jonathan on Gonzalez, and has been been hurt in other fights, including those against Sho Kimura and Ryoichi Taguchi. Given the move up in weight that 3/1 is something perhaps worth thinking about.
Related-The end of year clash - Kazuto Ioka Vs Kosei Tanaka
(Image courtesy of Ambition Gym)
In just over 24 hours we'll see WBO Super Flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka (25-2, 14) [井岡一翔] defending his title against unbeaten challenger Kosei Tanaka (15-0, 9) [田中恒成], in one of the mostly highly anticipated bouts of 2020.
The fight, which is being aired globally thanks to the likes of TBS, Boxnation, ESPN2 in Latin America and Fox Sports in Australia, is a rare Japanese fight that has genuinely caught the attention of a worldwide audience, all wanting to see something special to end a torrid 2020.
Today the two fighters took part in their weigh in for the contest, and both men made the 115lbs weight limit with no issues at all. In fact both came bang on the 115lb limit and looked in excellent physical condition.
Ioka, sporting the cornrows he showed off at the pre-fight medical yesterday, oozed confidence at the weigh in. He seemed like a man who really did believe his words, and seemed to feel that Tanaka wasn't on his level, and that he had done much more than the challenger.
After the weigh in he stated that he would be eating a meal made by his wife whilst isolating at a hotel. In regards to his condition he explained "I'm glad I was able to finish the weighing and play tomorrow with the support of my family and camp." When asked his views on the fight he was, again, scathing towards Tanaka, saying "I will prove who is the champion. I will show the difference in the rank and the level of boxing." and went on to add "I'm not looking down, but I don't care about the existence."
Before getting into the ring tomorrow Ioka plans on putting on between 4KG (8.8lbs) and 4.5KG's (9.9lbs).
As for Tanaka he seemed confidence, but like a man with a burning desire to prove a point. This wasn't the relaxed calmness of Ioka, the self assured, almost dismissive champion. Instead it was a challenger who has done all he can to prepare for a fight which, if he wins, will almost certainly make him the third biggest star in Japanese boxing. He looked incredibly on the scales, and knows it, telling interviewers that he was "in very good shape".
Like he has through the build up, he spoke about the bout being a generational change, as if he knows this is his chance to rip the torch from Ioka, and become a national star. Although well known among boxing fans, particularly those in the West where he has connected brilliantly with fans, he is still not quite the national boxing star that some suspect he is in Japan. A win here would change that, and he knows it.
On the subject of a generational shift Tanaka stated "I think the level of boxing in Japan is very high, so I want to win the 4th class and lead the boxing world. A new era of super talented people. I am prepared to lead it."
As well as both men making the 115lb weight limit, we can also report that both men had negative results in their PCR tests, which were taken yesterday.
As you're all probably aware by now the fight will be shown live around the world through through channels like TBS in Japan, Boxnation in the UK, Fox Sports in Australia and ESPN channels in Latin America, though sadly it wasn't picked up by a US TV channel.
For those in America wanting to watch we suggest a 3 day trial account with Isakura should be ordered today (December 30th) as it can take up to 12 hours to get the details sent through. More details about Isakura can be found here.
Related-The end of year clash - Kazuto Ioka Vs Kosei Tanaka
(Image courtesy of Ambition Gym)
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