World Boxing News Pound for Pound number ten Kazuto Ioka faces an uncertain future after testing positive for marijuana after his last fight.
The WBO super flyweight champion, who has won world titles at several weights, had an adverse finding from a title bout in December.
Ioka was making the second defense of his belt. He may not be in a position to make a third. That’s if the charge gets upheld.
Attorney Masanao Hattori believes may not be the case.
Hattori confirmed that the 32-year-old was positive for cannabis. He also outlined that the talented fighter had never taken illegal or illicit drugs.
According to The Japan Times, Japan’s Boxing Commission “consulted with the police after its mandatory test came back positive.”
They also said: “Hattori admitted a voluntary questioning of Ioka had taken place.”
Releasing a statement, Hattori added: “I heard the investigation is now concluded. I understand that he is cleared of the charge.”
A statement on the matter is expected from the Japanese authorities this week.
It’s the second time Ioka has come to the attention of the JBC.
Back in January, tattoos on his left arm became visible during a fight. The JBC warned him about this moving forward.
POUND FOR POUND
A four-weight world champion, Ioka is highly-regarded. His victory claimed in December pushed him into the WBN P4P Top 10 for the first time.
Ioka currently sits above Gennadiy Golovkin, Vasyl Lomachenko, and Roman Gonzalez. All three are former number ones.
If entirely cleared of any wrongdoing, Ioka will retain his place with WBN. If not, the 115-pound ruler will drop out of the ratings altogether.
Phil Jay is the Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America since 2018. And a member of the Sports Journalists’ Association. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.