Kazuto Ioka was supposed to be unifying his WBO Super Flyweight world title with Jerwin Ancajas IBF world title but due to Japan’s new Covid restrictions the bout was cancelled with Ancajas not being able to get into the country. Instead Ioka will still defend his title on New Year’s eve but against his fellow countryman Fukunaga.
Kazuto Ioka is an excellent fighter who has competed on the world stage with great success for almost ten years. He’s very good technically and has the experience to manage the twelve rounds against any style of fighter. He’s not a power puncher but has respectable power and the accuracy to stop anyone if he catches them.
Ryoji Fukunaga is a power puncher in the domestic Japanese scene but doesn’t have world class punching power. He clearly has respectable power as he’s KO’d almost everyone he’s fought domestically and you can see the power when he punches but it’ll be hard for him to land on Ioka clean. Fukunaga isn’t as good technically as Ioka so will have to land the punch of his career to win this fight. He is the bigger man so if he can push an unmotivated Ioka back and grit it out he could make it competitive but it’s hard too see him beating an elite fighter such as Ioka. I thought he was lucky to get the decision versus Hayate Kaji who is a domestic Japanese fighter himself though one who at only 24 could have some potential on the world stage.
Kazuto Ioka will stop Fukunaga in the seventh or eighth round due to an accumulation of punches set up from his excellent jab.