Ryan Songalia

Ioka makes easy work of Sithmorseng in Japan

Kazuto Ioka (right) lands a jab to Thai challenger Kwanthai Sithmorseng during his WBA junior flyweight title defense in Osaka on Sept. 11. Ioka knocked out Sithmorseng om the seventh round and retained the belt.

 

Kazuto Ioka retained his WBA junior flyweight title with a dominant seventh-round knockout of former titleholder Kwanthai Sithmorseng at the Bodymaker Colosseum in Osaka, Japan, on Wednesday.

The end came at the 2:17 mark, as Finnish referee Erkki Meronen reached the 10 count after Ioka (13-0, 9 KOs) dropped Sithmorseng (43-2-1, 22 KOs) with a double left hook that finished to the chin.

Ioka, 24, has now made two defenses of the title he won on New Year’s Eve, after a brief, but distinguished run at 105 pounds culminated with him unifying the WBA and WBC titles with a victory over Akira Yaegashi last June.

Ioka’s title credentials at 108 pounds were in question, as he seemed to split the WBA title with Roman Gonzalez through the organization’s confusing “regular” championship designation.

With Gonzalez scheduled to move up to flyweight to face Francisco Rodriguez Jr. on Sept. 21, Ioka’s lock on the title is now secure.

Ioka is currently rated No. 4 by THE RING at 108 pounds.

Sithmorseng, of Bangkok, Thailand, won the vacant WBA strawweight title in 2010, but lost it in his first defense to Muhammad Rachman five months later.

Earlier in the night, WBA strawweight titleholder Ryo Miyazaki barely held off interim titleholder Jesus Silvestre to win by majority decision. Judge Reina Urbaez had it even at 114-114, but was overruled byIgnacio Robles and Meronen, who scored it 115-113 and 115-114 for Miyazaki, respectively.

The 25-year-old Miyazaki (20-0-3, 11 KOs), of Osaka, announced afterwards that he would move up to 108 pounds. Silvestre (27-4, 20 KOs), of Tepic, Mexico, loses for the first time since dropping a decision to Paipharob Kokietgym in 2011 in Thailand.

Miyazaki is currently rated No. 6 by THE RING at 105 pounds, while Silvestre is rated No. 9.

Also on the card, former WBC flyweight titleholder Malcolm Tunacao (33-3-3, 20 KOs) won a five-round technical decision over Imron Lookkhlongtan (0-3). Tunacao, who is rated No. 4 by THE RING at bantamweight, was fighting for the first time since being stopped by Shinsuke Yamanaka in 12 rounds in April in a vie for the WBC bantamweight title.

 

 

Photos / AFP

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