WBO Jr. Bantamweight World Champion Ioka and Cintron have staredown at Haneda airport
On December 31st we’ll see the year close out with a stacked card from Watanabe, headlined by WBO Jr. Bantamweight Champion Kazuto Ioka (24-2, 14) [井岡一翔] taking on mandatory challenger Jeyvier Cintron (11-0-0-1, 5). Today the men went face to face for the first time, meeting at the Haneda airport in Japan.
The two engaged in a lengthy, and intense face off, as well as talking to the press in quite a public setting.
Ioka seemed impressed by his opponents reputation, speaking about how Cintron is a 2-time Olympian and an undefeated professional. But added that he was prepared to win, and had been Stateside until just a few days ago.
If Ioka wins, as is expected by many, there was two names suggested that he may face off with next. One of those is fellow Japanese fighter Kosei Tanaka (14-0, 8) [田中恒成], who will be defending his WBO Flyweight title against awkward Chinese challenger Wulan Tuolehazi (13-3-1, 6) [乌兰] on the same show, and the other is Nicaraguan great Roman Gonzalez (48-2, 40). Despite those names being mentioned to him today, Ioka stated that his focus was solely on Cintron.
Cintron on the other hand explained how he was honoured to have a fight in Japan, and came to take the belt back to Puerto Rico. He stated he was in good shape and seemed very calm and relaxed.