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Kazuto Ioka: I Have To Show I’m On A Different Level And Win By Landslide

Kazuto Ioka: I Have To Show I’m On A Different Level And Win By Landslide

Kazuto Ioka expected a higher profile matchup for his year-end tradition. While he’s not overlooking the fight he has in front of him, the four-division and reigning WBA junior bantamweight titlist is aware the pressure is on to turn away challenger Josber Perez in spectacular fashion. The two meet in a scheduled twelve-round title fight atop an ABEMA TV stream this Sunday from Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo.

“As the defending champion, I have to show that I’m on a different level and win by a landslide,” Ioka admitted of the title defense. bet365 sportsbook lists Ioka (30-2-1, 15KOs) as a -1800 favorite to prevail in his twelfth career New Year’s Eve headliner. He is 9-1-1 on the year-end holiday, the last five which have been held at Ota-City where he fights for the eighth straight time overall.

The date was originally reserved for a mouthwatering unification bout versus lineal/WBC champion Juan Francisco Estrada (44-3, 28KOs). The two sides were believed to have been in advanced talks before they broke off altogether and ultimately died at the negotiating table. Estrada will now go all of 2023 without a fight, while Ioka was forced to settle for a voluntary title defense. He was able to secure a date as the reigning WBO titleholder with then-WBA titlist Joshua Franco last New Year’s Eve. The two fought to a twelve-round draw in a terrific action fight, though one that came at a cost.

Ioka was ordered to next defend his WBO belt versus countryman and mandatory challenger Junto Nakatani. He opted instead to stick with the more lucrative rematch versus Franco, though no longer a unification bout as he was forced to give up the WBO title he held since June 2019 and made six successful defenses. Ioka outpointed Franco over twelve rounds in their June 24 rematch to win the WBA title, which he defends on Sunday.

Venezuela’s Perez (20-3, 18KOs) enters as a +850 underdog for his second career title fight. The 28-year-old from Los Teques dropped a twelve-round, unanimous decision to unbeaten WBA flyweight titleholder Artem Dalakian in their February 2020 meeting in Kiev, Ukraine. Three knockout wins have followed, all in 2023 though versus mismatched opposition.

The fight is considered lopsided enough on paper to where public attention has already shifted to a potential Estrada-Ioka championship clash in 2024, or even a date versus IBF titlist Fernando ‘Puma’ Martinez (16-0, 9KOs). Ioka has instead to focus on the task at hand, versus the opponent who actually agreed to face him this weekend.

“I have a fight that I want to make happen, but I need to win this one first,” stated Ioka, who has won titles at 105-, 108- and 112-pounds. “It goes without saying that I have to retain my title.”

Kazuto Ioka is determined to show that he is on a different level and win the fight by a landslide against challenger Josber Perez. The fight will take place atop an ABEMA TV stream this Sunday from Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo. Ioka is the four-division and reigning WBA junior bantamweight titlist and is the favorite to win according to bet365 sportsbook.

Ioka was set to face lineal/WBC champion Juan Francisco Estrada in a unification bout, but the two sides were unable to reach a deal and ultimately the fight was called off. Ioka was then forced to settle for a voluntary title defense as the reigning WBO titleholder against Joshua Franco.

After a twelve-round draw in their first fight, Ioka outpointed Franco in their June 24 rematch to win the WBA title, which he is determined to

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Spivey Cathy is a professional article writer who has gained extensive experience in the industry. Her work has appeared in esteemed publications such as BBC News and ABC. Currently, she is writing articles for Smogcoders.com, where she showcases her talent for captivating storytelling and technical expertise.

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