By Masa Ueda/BOXINGMOBILE JAPAN
A new page in the Japanese boxing history book will be made on June 20th, when one of the biggest rivalries in Japanese boxing, WBA Minimumweight champion Akira ”Speed of Sound” Yaegashi1 (15-2, 8KO) and WBC champion Kazuto ”Goldenboy” Ioka (9-0, 6KO) will go head-to-head for the first ever unification bout in Japan between two Japanese world champions.
This fight has more than 20 years of history in the making. Ioka is trained by his uncle, Hiroki Ioka, who was a former WBC Minimum champion back in the late 80’s. Yaegashi is trained by Hideyuki Ohashi, who captured both titles during his career, also back in the 1990’s.
Hiroki Ioka vs Ohashi was an anticipated fight, but unfortunately it never happened. After 20 years, their pupils will meet in the ring for the belts they once had.
Ioka, 22, from Osaka, Japan, won his WBC title on his 7th professional fight against Oleydong Sithsamerchai of Thailand in February 2011. He defended his title in his last fight in just 98 seconds with a devastating uppercut to Yodngoen Tor Chalermchai of Thailand, who was carried out on a stretcher.
Yaegashi, 29, a resident of Kanagawa, Japan, challenged Eagle Kyowa (Thailand) for the WBC title in 2007, but lost by unanimous decision. He later came back to win his WBA title last October when he defeated Pornsawan Porpramook of Thailand via a 10th round TKO.
Both fighters have tremendous speed and knockout power. This looks to be an exciting fight, not only for Japanese fans, but for boxing fans worldwide.