This past weekend we saw Japan's Kazuto Ioka (23-1, 13) [井岡一翔] end his retirement, and return to the ring with a stellar victory over McWilliams Arroyo (17-4, 14) to claim the WBC Silver Super Flyweight title.
On the same card we also saw Donnie Nietes (41-1-5, 23) fight to a draw with Aston Palicte (24-2-1, 20) in a bout for the WBO Super Flyweight world title. As a result of that draw the title remains vacant, which it has been since Naoya Inoue moved to Bantamweight,
Early today Japanese sources have started to report that the plan for Ioka is to return at the end of this year and to face off with Nietes for the vacant WBO Super Flyweight world title. A title both men are chasing to become a 4-weight world champion. The bout seems to be something that Ioka's team are working on, and his win over Arroyo should assure him of a very high WBO ranking. Inoue is looking to become the first ever male fighter to become a 4-weight champion from Japan whilst Nietes wants to become the third 4-weight champion from the Philippines.
From what we have been told the bout could take place in either the Philippines or Japan, likely depending on whether Ioka would have a struggle to get a Japanese license, though would be held in conjunction with a Japanese TV channel, likely TBS.
It's unclear if this would be part of a Kyokugen show on New Year's Eve, though if it is it seems like TBS may end up having a lot of fighters all looking for a place on their broadcast with a triple header already being rumoured for the date. If Ioka is added it could well end up being the first ever Japanese quadruple would title show!
According to the sources the Japanese fighter is then pencilled in to return to fighting Stateside in 2019 on Superfly 4, which is expected to take place in Spring next year. That card is likely to feature the anticipated rematch between WBC Super Flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (46-4-1, 41) [ศรีสะเกษ นครหลวงโปรโมชั่น] and Mexican challenger Juan Francisco Estrada (37-3, 25) , who won in the main event of this weekend's Superfly card. If Ioka and Nietes do fight in December then the winner of that would probably face Palicte in a WBO title defense on Superfly 4.