Ioka sets sights on unification bout with Ancajas

Published September 3, 2021, 3:56 PM

by Carlo Anolin

WBO super flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka has set sights on a unification bout with IBF junior bantamweight titleholder Jerwin Ancajas.

Jerwin Ancajas lands a left hand to Mexican challenger Jonathan Javier Rodriguez during their match last April at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. (Photo from Showtime Boxing)

“To receive recognition as [a] pound-for-pound [fighter] worldwide meant a great deal to me as far as respect,” said Ioka in an interview with The Ring magazine. “I still have goals to gain more recognition in the world, there is much more to achieve. My goal is to unify the belts.

“I can only control my own destiny. The plan is to win this fight, then hope for a unification fight with the IBF champion (Ancajas).”

Ioka successfully defended his belt for the third time against Mexican foe Francisco Rodriguez Jr. via unanimous decision at the Ota City General Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan Wednesday, Sept. 1.

He won the vacant WBO super-flyweight title against Filipino boxer Aston Palicte with a tenth-round technical knockout victory in June 2019.

Ancajas, for his part, last saw action in April with a unanimous decision win over Jonathan Javier Rodriguez in the United States for his ninth straight title defense of the IBF junior-bantamweight title (115 lb).

Completing the 115 lb line are super WBA, WBC, and The Ring champion Juan Francisco Estrada of Mexico and regular WBA titleholder Joshua Franco of the US.

The 29-year-old Ancajas is currently holed up training in Bukidnon while waiting for possible matchups.