On Wednesday this week both Ryo Miyazaki and Kazuto Ioka, unbeaten stablemates at the Ioka Gym, successfully defended their WBA titles.
Immediately after his win, Miyazaki made it clear that he had the intention of vacating his Minimumweight title to move up to Light Flyweight, the division that Ioka himself holds the WBA belt in.
It appears that Miyazaki's movement may trigger a slight domino effect with Ioka himself moving up to Flyweight and vacating his belt as he attempts to become Japan's second 3-weight champion, following in the footsteps of the controversial Koki Kameda.
Although some in the Japanese press have already slated Ioka for even contemplating such a move, comparing his rise through the weights as similar to Koki's it's fair to say that the move may well make an awful lot of sense.
The Light Flyweight division is, at the moment, a relatively weak one. Take out Roman Gonzalez, a man some are saying Ioka is avoiding and you have a division totally void of any real names. Sure you have Adrian Hernandez, Donnie Nietes and Johnriel Casimero though none of those three are really great names and it's unlikely that a unification with any of those 3 would ever be made anyway.
At Flyweight however you have arguably the best division in the sport. A move from 108lbs to 112lbs isn't a move to an easy title but instead it's a move that's testing.
A look at the title holders at Flyweight gives you Akira Yaegashi (WBC and Linear champion), Juan Francisco Estrada (WBA "Super" and WBO), Juan Carlos Reveco (WBA "regular" champion) and Moruti Mthalane (IBF). If you want to try and claim there is an easy title amongst them then you're seriously kidding yourself.
If Miyazaki moves up we'd expect Ioka to follow suit, opening the door to Miyazaki fighting for the WBA Light Flyweight title, as he did when he moved up from Minimumweight. Though we've got to admit we don't know what route Ioka would take to a Flyweight title, and in all honesty, we'd love him against any of the champions.
One of several interesting sub-stories to all of this is that less than a week ago we were hearing a rumour that Gonzalez was hunting a December 31st date with Juan Carlos Revecco in Japan. Could it be that Gonzalez and Ioka are on a collision course at 112lbs anyway? Or will Ioka instead hunt for the WBC title currently held by Akira Yaegashi giving Yaegashi a chance to avenge his most recent loss.
Interesting a second sub-story revolves around super prospect Naoya Inoue, a man who seems intent on beating Ioka's national record of "fewest fights to a world title". Ioka's record of 7 fights, is expected to be broken by Inoue who, after just 4 fights, is expected to be ranked in the top 10 by both the WBC and WBA (when their ranking's are next updated).
Could we see Inoue v Miyazaki for the WBA Light Flyweight title on a show at the end of the year?
We have a lot of questions, a lot of speculation though the "news" if you will, is that both men look set to move up.
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