Earlier today it was announced that Japanese star, and current WBA Flyweight champion, Kazuto Ioka (19-1, 11) [井岡一翔] had returned to fully fledged training ahead of his third defense of the WBA title, which is pencilled for May.
The Osakan star, who became Japan's second 3-weight world champion last year, revealed to the media that he was wanting to get himself a big bout this year, with names such as such as Roman Gonzalez and Juan Francisco Estrada both being mentioned by the media.
Whilst Ioka does want a high profile unification bout it does seem that he will have to wait though his father stating that Ioka's next defense would be against a "top ranked" opponent. It was also revealed by his father that the bout would take place in Osaka during the Gold Week, which begins on April 29th.
Whilst specific rumours aren't being widely reported Ioka has been linked to Chinese fighter Zou Shiming (7-1, 2) [邹市明] and WBA "interim" champion Stamp Kiatniwat (15-0, 6) [แสตมป์ กระทิงแดงยิม]. It is known that Ioka's TV ratings have been disappointing and he will need to face someone notable to get those figures back to a number that will please broadcaster TBS, who may begin to give less favourable slots if the ratings continue to slide.
(Image courtesy of http://mainichi.jp)
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