Ioka vs Martinez unification official for July 7 in Tokyo

Ioka vs Martinez unification official for July 7 in Tokyo

Kazutio Ioka’s and Fernando Martinez’s previously revealed WBA/IBF super flyweight unification is official, as organizers held a press conference to announce that the pair will meet on July 7th at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan.

No word on a stateside broadcast. One of ABEMA’s previous shows aired on DAZN when they partnered with Matchroom and they’re presumably partnering with PBC here, so I wouldn’t be shocked if it landed on Amazon Prime.

Despite being a four-division champion, the 35-year-old Ioka (31-2-1, 16 KO) has not successfully unified belts since beating Akira Yaegashi for the WBA and WBC minimumweight titles in 2012. His previous attempt saw him eke out a draw against Joshua Franco in 2022, and though he defeated Franco in their rematch six months later, he had to vacate his WBO belt beforehand to avoid a mandatory defense against Junto Nakatani.

He’d been pushing for his long-desired crack at WBC champ Juan Francisco Estrada, but with “El Gallo” on a collision course with “Bam” Rodriguez, he’ll instead meet the dangerous “Pumita” Rodriguez (16-0, 9 KO). The Argentinean slugger is no stranger to road games, having once gone from South Africa to Argentina to Dubai to America in a four-fight stretch, and has the horsepower to push Ioka to his limits.

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