New Years Eve: Ioka-Reveco II

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New Years Eve: Ioka-Reveco II
The Japanese don’t need noisemakers, funny hats, and endless renditions of Auld Lange Syne. (Photo: Sumio Yamada)

New Years Eve: Ioka-Reveco II

by
New Years Eve: Ioka-Reveco II
The Japanese don’t need noisemakers, funny hats, and endless renditions of Auld Lange Syne. (Photo: Sumio Yamada)

The Japanese don’t need noisemakers, funny hats, and endless renditions of Auld Lange Syne. (Photo: Sumio Yamada)
The Japanese don’t need noisemakers and endless renditions of Auld Lange Syne. They have boxing. (Photo: Sumio Yamada)

You’ve got to hand it to the Japanese. They don’t need noisemakers, funny hats, and endless renditions of Auld Lange Syne to bring the New Year in right. They have something even better.

They have boxing.

On Thursday, December 31, at EDION Arena Osaka in Osaka, Japan, WBA World flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka (18-1, 10 KOs), fighting out of Osaka, defends his title against former WBA World flyweight champion Juan Carlos Reveco (36-2, 19 KOs), from Las Heras, Mendoza, Argentina.

When the two men first fought in April 2104, former WBA/WBC minimumweight and WBA World light flyweight champion Ioka won a controversial majority decision over the long reigning WBA flyweight champion.

Because the decision in the first fight was disputed (final scores were 116-113, 115-113, and 114-114), Reveco’s team filed a formal protest with the WBA, which after much consideration gave a green light to the rematch.

Thursday’s rematch with Reveco will be Ioka’s second defense of the crown. In his first defense three months ago, he defeated Roberto Domingo Sosa by UD.

The loss to Ioka was Reveco’s first defeat since 2007. He may be 32 years old, but based on the first fight with Ioka, where the Argentinean brought it to the Japanese challenger, he still has plenty of gas left in the tank.

Twenty-six-year-old Ioka’s only defeat in his career was a split decision loss in 2014 to Amnat Ruenroeng for the IBF flyweight title.

Old-school trainers say that when a fighter wins a world title, he automatically becomes a better fighter. If that bit of wisdom holds true, Ioka has to be considered the favorite going in. Reveco is faster and more aggressive than Ioka, but the champion is younger and fresher than the hard-hitting former champ. He is also fighting on his home turf and will have the crowd behind him.  And at 5’5” to Reveco’s 5’2” Ioka has advantages in height and reach.

Ioka is not flashiest of Japanese fighters, but he’s solid in all aspects of his game, both offensively and defensively.

“In my first fight with Juan Carlos Reveco, I worked my way to win the world title and win by judges’ decision,” says Ioka. “But in the rematch I will be different, because I’ll take the chance to seek a more resounding victory by way of a knockout to convince everyone that I am a worthy world champion with solid a victory over Juan Carlos Reveco.”

If history is any guide, the Ioka vs. Reveco rematch should be as good a fight as the first one. It is also as good a way as any to end what has been a very good year.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1PGryixfr8

This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.


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