Notebook: Talks underway for Estrada-Ioka unification fight
PBC/Showtime possibilities for November; Tszyu-Mendoza update; next for Robeisy Ramirez; Rolly Romero's mandatory situation; Quick hits; Show and tell
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There is no done deal at this point but the representatives for lineal/WBC junior bantamweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada and WBA titlist Kazuto Ioka, both probable Hall of Famers, are in talks for them to meet in a title unification bout on Dec. 31 in Japan, where New Year’s Eve is a traditional date for major boxing events, sources with knowledge of the discussions told Fight Freaks Unite.
Estrada (44-3, 28 KOs), 33, of Mexico, who has unified titles at flyweight and junior bantamweight, has been out of action since last December. That is when he won a hard-fought majority decision to retain the lineal title and win the vacant WBC 115-pound belt in his rubber match with Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez in Glendale, Arizona.
Ioka (30-2-1, 15 KOs), 34, of Japan, has won titles in four divisions from strawweight to junior bantamweight. He also unified titles at strawweight.
In his last fight, in June in Tokyo, Ioka outpointed Joshua Franco in their rematch to take his WBA title. They met for the first time in their previous fight on Dec. 31, 2022 and fought to a draw in a WBA/WBO unification fight. However, Ioka vacated the WBO title in order to meet Franco in an immediate rematch rather than defend the belt in a less lucrative mandatory fight.
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