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Ioka to aim for third world belt in May

By Joe Koizumi
Photo by Boxing Beat

Unbeaten formerly two-time champ Kazuto Ioka (14-0, 9 KOs), Japan, will have an ambitious shot at the IBF flyweight belt against also unbeaten Thailander Amnat Ruenroeng (12-0, 5 KOs) in Osaka, Japan, on May 7. Having already won the WBC 105-pound and WBA 108-pound titles, Ioka, still 25, will attempt to capture his third belt in the 112-pound category against Amnat who acquired the vacant IBF throne by defeating Filipino Rocky Fuentes on points in Thailand last January. It will be the first defense for Amnat, 34, who reportedly once beat Ioka when they were amateurs. Previously there were triple-class champions, but it might be the quickest should Ioka win the third in his fifteenth bout.

IBF minimum champ Katsunari Takayama (26-6-0-1NC, 10 KOs), a fast-moving Japanese, will make his second defense against compatriot Shin Ono (17-5-2, 2 KOs), a puzzling southpaw, in a supporting card of the same show.

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