Kazuto Ioka, who vacated his WBA “world” flyweight title last November and retired in January, is coming back to boxing.
ESPN reports that the Japanese star will be part of HBO’s “Superfly 3” card on September 8 in California.
Ioka (22-1, 13 KO) has won world titles at 105, 108, and 112, and will likely be targeting a title at 115 upon his return to the sport. He hasn’t fought since April 2017, when he retained his title by decision against Noknoi Sitthiprasert.
Ioka’s only loss came in 2014, when he was beaten by Amnat Ruenroeng, a split decision that saw Ruenroeng win the IBF flyweight title.
He’s still in his prime years, so there could be plenty for him left to do in the ring. This isn’t an ill-advised comeback, at least on paper, where he’s older and might need the money. He’s 29 and his retirement was something of a surprise.
The fight on September 8 will be Ioka’s first outside of his native country.
The only other TV fight announced so far for “Superfly 3” will see Donnie Nietes face Aston Palicte for the vacant WBO super flyweight title.