Title unifications are rare in boxing these days, but those with the persistence and wherewithal to search out overnight Japanese internet streams or day-after videos will be treated to a good one on Wednesday.
WBC strawweight champ, Kazuto Ioka (9-0,6 KOs) will put his title on the line against his WBA counterpart, Akira Yaegashi (15-2, 8 KOs) at the Bodymaker Colosseum in Osaka, Japan in a 105 lb. world title unfication bout.
The 23-year-old Ioka, ranked #2 in the world by The Boxing Tribune, has been considered a boy wonder of sorts, ever since winning the WBC title in February, 2011 from long-reigning champ, Oleydong Sithsamerchai, in only his seventh pro fight. Since then, Ioka has made two successful defenses, scoring a unanimous twelve-round decision over Juan Hernandez in August and stopping inexperienced Yodngoen Tor Chalermchai in the first round on New Year’s Eve.
The Boxing Tribune’s fifth-ranked strawweight, Yaegashi, will be putting up his WBA strap for the first time since beating Pornsawan Porpramook last October. The 29-year-old was a former Japanese strawweight champ and also made a failed bid for the WBC strawweight in 2007, dropping a wide, unanimous decision to then-champ Eagle Kyowa in Yaegashi’s seventh pro fight.