On December 31st Japanese fight fans get a bumper day with 6 world title fights, and several other notable bouts, taking place. One of those will see WBA Flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka (20-1, 12) [井岡一翔] defending his titlea gainst Thai teenager Stamp Kiatniwat (15-0, 6) [แสตมป์ กระทิงแดงยิม].
Yesterday, as part of Ioka's preparations for the bout, he took part in a public work out and looked damned close to ready for the bout.
The Osakan took part in a 12 round sparring session and looked like a fighter who was in great shape with fantastic energy and a real hunger towards improving. He also, again, looked like a fighter who was a fully fledged Flyweight and not like a man who had moved up in weight from the Minimumweight division.
Although their was still some things for Ioka to work on, such as making sure he makes the weigh in in a couple of weeks, he looked better than he has since moving up to the Flyweight division and it's clear that he is looking to make a statement when he takes on Stamp.
With the Flyweight division relatively open, it's fair to say that Ioka will be looking to establish himself as the #1 fighter in the division next year, and perhaps become the first Japanese fighter to unify titles in multiple weigh divisions.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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