Months after scoring the biggest win of his storied career, WBO super flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka has a potentially nastier fight on his hands. Kyodo News and other sources report that Ioka tested positive for marijuana following his December victory over Kosei Tanaka.
Ioka’s (26-2, 15 KO) attorney claims that the police questioned Ioka after consultation with the Japanese Boxing Commission, but that “the investigation is concluded” and Ioka is “cleared of the charge.” That does not, however, mean that the JBC is done with him; the commission has a very low tolerance for violations, as seen in their continued refusal to let former flyweight champ Daigo Higa fight below bantamweight, and Ioka already butted heads with them earlier this year over his tattoos.
Per Kyodo News, the JBC “will release a statement in the coming days.”
Still, if Ioka isn’t facing criminal charges, he’s through the worst of it. Japan’s cannabis laws are notoriously draconian, with simple possession potentially leading to years in jail. He’s still got a lot of career ahead of him at 32, and I’d rather not see that derailed over something like this.