By Joe Koizumi
Under such an usual situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic with our Tokyo governor Ms. Koike strongly suggesting us to stay home with a greatly surging infection of 944 just in the capital today, the weigh-in ceremony of New Year’s Eve’s WBO junior bantamweight title bout between defending champ Kazuto Ioka, 31, and top contender Kosei Tanaka, 25, was held on Wednesday. Ioka (25-2, 14 KOs) and Tanaka (15-0, 9 KOs) both tipped the beam at the 115-pound class limit.
Ioka said, “I will show the difference of level and class between us. We don’t belong to the same league. I don’t care about him at all.”
Tanaka responded, “It’s time for a change of generation. I’m mentally and physically fit.”
The results of their medical examination on Tuesday were as follows:
Height: 164.8 cm/164.6 cm 5’5”/5’5”
Reach: 169 cm/167 cm 66.5”/65.7”
Chest: 90 cm/84.5 cm 35.4”/33.2”
Neck: 33.5 cm/35.2 cm 13.2”/13.9”
Though Ioka is slightly favored to win because of his ring experience in this category here in Japan, it will be a very competitive confrontation of the excellent compatriots. The main event will start at 6 PM at the Ota City Gymnasium in Tokyo.
The semi-final will see the WBO Asia Pacific bantamweight title bout between defending titlist Yuki Strong Kobayashi (16-8, 9 KOs) and challenger and ex-WBC flyweight ruler Daigo Higa (16-1-1, 16 KOs) over twelve rounds. Kobayashi scaled in at 117.5 pounds to 118 for Higa.