By Joe Koizumi
We, in Japan, make it a rule to have a post-fight press conference with a winner of a world title bout on the next day. It is called “Ichiya-ake” interview as it means “after one night.”
WBO 115-pound champ Kazuto Ioka (who defeated Jeyvier Cintron on points) said on Wednesday, “It was a tougher defense than I had expected. I’ll take a rest for two weeks and come back to gym until my next fight is decided. When decided, I will move to Las Vegas to train under the tutelage of Cuban trainer Ismael Salas.” As his optics are considerably swollen, Ioka had sunglasses before press people, which is rare for the untouchable Ioka whose defensive skills are usually very excellent.
WBO flyweight titleholder Kosei Tanaka, unbruised after an impressive performance in quickly finishing China’s Wulan Tuolehazi in the third round, confidently said, “I may remain in the flyweight division since I successfully achieved controlling weight to have a very good condition. Whichever may do, to fight at 112 or to move up to 115.” People watched Tanaka improve his power and skills in his ninth appearance in world title bouts (all victorious). The enfant terrible, still 24, may also take a good rest before he resumes training.
The current world champions out of Japan are as follows: Ryota Murata (160, WBA), Ryosuke Iwasa (122, interim IBF), Naoya Inoue (118, WBA and IBF), Kazuto Ioka (115, WBO), Kosei Tanaka (112, WBO), Kenshiro Teraji (108, WBC) and Hiroto Kyoguchi (108, WBA).