The World Boxing Association (WBA) Championships Committee has ordered negotiations between the Japanese Kazuto Ioka, Flyweight Champion, and the Azerbaijani Artem Dalakiam, number one in the ranking.
According to WBA Rule 11, a champion has nine months to make a mandatory defense. The last time Ioka exposed his belt against a mandatory rival was on December 31st, 2016, and his deadline for another mandatory defense is due on September 30th, 2017.
The Japanese boxer won his WBA belt at 112 pounds on April 22nd, 2015, when he defeated Argentine Juan Carlos Reveco by majority decision, and has already defended his championship 5 times. In addition, he has been champion in the Minimumweight and Light Flyweight division, and in both, he successfully exposed his belt 3 times. Ioka has a record of 22 wins, one loss and 13 knockouts.
On the other hand, Dalakian got the opportunity to fight for a world title thanks to his good results. He is the current WBA Continental Champion at 112 pounds, title he has defended 4 times, all by knockout. In addition, he was WBA-International Champion of the same division. The Azerbaijan boxer is undefeated in 15 fights, 11 of them won via knockout.
Both teams were duly notified and have 30 days, as of July 31st, 2017, to reach an agreement or the fight will be called to purse bids.