Kazuto Ioka Vs. Fernando Martinez Set For July

By James Slater - 04/20/2024 - Comments

The 115 pound division is set to really get buzzing this summer. As fans already know, Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez will face reigning and defending WBC junior-bantamweight boss Juan Francisco Estrada in Phoenix on June 29. While it was reported today by RingTV.com how Kazuto Ioka will clash with Fernando Martinez in Japan on July 7, with both the WBA and IBF 115 pound belts on the line.

Ioka, one of the pound-for-pound best fighters competing today, if not perhaps getting the full credit he should be getting, is currently 31-2(16) and he has already more than made his name by becoming the first Japanese fighter to win world titles at four different weights, these being at 105, 108, 112, and 115 pounds. Kazuto has had an amazing 26 world title fights. Ioka last boxed in December, when he stopped Josber Perez on New Year’s Eve.

Martinez of Argentina is unbeaten at 16-0(9) and he is also the younger man by three years at age 32. Martinez won the IBF belt with a win over Jerwin Ancajas, who he defeated in a return bout. Martinez last fought in June of last year, when he stopped Jade Bornea in Minnesota.

The July fight, which will take place at a location to be announced in Japan, could well prove to be a great one. Ioka can be a real joy to watch, yet no fighter can go on for ever, and Father Time may well come knocking at Ioka’s door sooner rather than later. Martinez, though, will be taking the biggest, most testing fight of his career with this assignment.

It is to be hoped this fight gets some TV coverage in the US and in the UK. Ioka will not be around for ever, and he should be appreciated while he is here, looking for the biggest and best fights each time out. Martinez has never before boxed in Japan, and he has fought outside of Argentina just five times.

Again, with “Bam” and Estrada to get it on in what is widely expected to be a real firefight on June 29, and with Ioka and Martinez then hooking up the following week, the 115 pound division promises to be red-hot this summer.