With WBO junior bantamweight champion Kazuto Ioka (26-2, 15 KOs) set to make the third defense of his title against Francisco Rodriguez Jr (34-4-1, 24 KOs) this Wednesday in Tokyo, Ioka tells RingTV he’s confident in his ability to get the win despite not being all too familiar with his opponent. Whatever Rodriguez plants to bring to the table in this fight, Ioka says he intends to demonstrate his strength.
“I will show him the power I have in the ring. I don’t think I will allow him to do anything to me and [I will] prove to him that I am at a different level as a champion.”
Ioka continues by saying that although he’s already a world champion he still has aspirations in the sport and his ultimate goal is to unify titles. Ioka is openly targeting fights against the cream of the crop against fighters such as Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Roman Gonzalez, and Juan Francisco Estrada, but knows the most realistic opportunity for him after this fight would be against Jerwin Ancajas.
“I can only control my own destiny,” Ioka said. “The plan is to win this fight, then hope for a unification fight with the IBF champion [Jerwin Ancajas.]”
Ioka, 32, is most recently coming off a stoppage win over Kosei Tanaka this past December while Rodriguez, 29, took a split decision win over Martin Tecuapetia in February — marking his 16th straight win on the Mexican local level.