Japan's Kazuto Ioka will defend his World Boxing Association super flyweight championship against Venezuelan Josber Perez in Tokyo on New Year's Eve, the fight's organizers announced Monday.
The match at Ota City General Gymnasium will be Ioka's first defense of the title he won by beating American Joshua Franco at the same venue in June.
"As the defending champion, I have to show that I'm on a different level and win by a landslide," the 34-year-old Ioka said at a press conference in Tokyo.
Ioka's camp has been negotiating a potential unification bout against World Boxing Council champion Juan Francisco Estrada of Mexico, but with the talks stalling, he opted to avoid a long gap between fights by facing Perez.
"I have a fight that I want to make happen, but I need to win this one first. It goes without saying that I have to remain champion," said Ioka, who has 30 wins, 15 by knockout, with two losses and one draw.
The 28-year-old Perez has a 20-3 record including an unsuccessful WBA world title tilt in 2020.