Japan's Kazuto Ioka, who announced his retirement last December after winning world titles in three separate weight classes, said Friday he is returning to the ring.
The 29-year-old will move his base to Los Angeles, where he is scheduled to fight a super flyweight bout on September 8 - as part of the Superfly 3 card, which is being televised by HBO. The opponent has yet to be confirmed.
"I think it'll be a completely new challenge at a new place. I want to get good results at any cost," he told a press conference in Tokyo. "I'm looking to win my fourth weight class in the United States."
Ioka, who made his pro debut in April 2009, won the WBC minimumweight crown in 2011, and beat WBA champion Akira Yaegashi the following year to unify the two titles.
Ioka went on to claim the WBA light flyweight title in 2012 and the WBA flyweight title in 2015. He is 22-1 with 13 knockouts.
He announced his retirement last New Year's Eve after relinquishing his flyweight title in November. At the time he said he was satisfied with his career after winning three titles in different weight divisions.
IN OTHER NEWS: Granite Chin Promotions (GCP) and Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE) hosted a press conference yesterday at The Ballot Box in Worcester, Massachusetts, to make a major announcement, as well as introduce local fighters on the August 17th pro boxing card at The Palladium in Worcester.
Three-time, two-division world champion "El Gallo" Jose Antonio Rivera (41-6-1, 24 KOs) is making his return in the "Making History" main event, in large part because he wanted to fight on the same card as his son, A.J. Rivera, who was to become the first pro boxer who was born with Spina Bifida. A.J., who is a rising matchmaker in New England, was unable to get medically cleared in time and he will not be fighting Aug. 17.
The event has been renamed, "Homecoming", because six of the competing fighters, including Jose Antonio Rivera, live in Worcester.