By Joe Koizumi
Photo: Boxing Beat
Unbeaten WBC 105-pound champ Kazuto Ioka (9-0, 6 KOs), 105, easily kept his belt as he quickly polished off Thai challenger and WBC youth titlist Yodgoen Tor Chalermchai (8-1, 4 KOs), 104.25, at 1:38 of the first round on Saturday in Osaka, Japan.
Ioka’s left hook was a haymaker that dropped the Thailander with a thud. The referee Bruce McTavish (Philippines) promptly called a halt with the loser carried out on a stretcher.
Ioka, 22, impressively captured the WBC belt by disposing of previously unbeaten Oleydong Sithsamerchai with a single body shot in agony in the fifth round this February. The Thai challenger Yodgoen, ex-champ Oleydong’s stablemate, was also unbeaten like Ioka and a year his junior at twenty-one.
But we couldn’t see Yodgoen’s real power well, as the fight terminated so quickly only in 98 seconds.
The youngsters began to exchange sharp jabs as the contest started. Ioka, making his second defense, felt out the shorter challenger with good left leads, and connected with a left hook to the body following a right uppercut to the face. The body shot almost had Yodgoen’s legs buckled and had him a stationary target.
Ioka swarmed over him and landed a vicious short left hook to the face. Yodgoen fell prone with the well-timed coup-de-grace. It was such a beautiful left hook if we do not compare it with that of Sugar Ray Robinson over Gene Fullmer or Sugar Ray Leonard over David Boy Green.
Ioka, whose amateur mark was 95-10, 64 stoppages, failed to represent Japan in the last Olympic games in Beijing in 2008. He dropped out of Tokyo Agricultural University that year to turn professional from his uncle Hiroki’s gym. He made a pro debut in April 2009, and broke the Japanese record of the quickest world coronation in the seventh pro bout.
Kazuto, usually coached by his father/promoter Kazunori (Hiroki’s elder brother), used to be coached by Cuban trainer Ismael Salas who once handled his uncle Hiroki in the twilight of his career. Though Salas couldn’t come to work the corner this time, Kazuto fully showed his potential and progress as well.
Kazuto happily said, “I had a good year as I became the world champ and kept my belt twice. I wish to win the second belt in the next division next year.” The vastly talented champ fought in the flyweight category when amateur, and reportedly has had a severe weight problem. Before moving up to the 108-pound division, Ioka personally wishes to fight WBA minimum champ Akira Yaegashi for unification.
Although it was such a quick demolition, the crowd of estimated 8,000 didn’t complain of the too short end but praised Ioka’s stunning stoppage. We may look forward to watching Kazuto’s bright future in 2012.
Former K-1 battler Kyotaro Fujimoto, 223, made a successful pro debut in the international style fighting as he floored Australian Michael O’Donnell (6-15, 3 KOs), 220.5, in the fifth round, winning a unanimous nod (all 60-53) over six.
Ex-WBA super-fly champ Nobuo Nashiro, 118, decked Thailander Norasing Patanakan Gym, 116.75, twice with body shots and finally knocked him out at 2:36 of the second round in a scheduled ten.
Unbeaten OPBF light-fly champ Ryo Miyazaki (16-0-3, 10 KOs), 109, easily stopped Kaenpetch Sithpoopetch, 108, from Thailand, at 1:35 of the third round in a scheduled non-title eight.
Promoter: Ioka Promotions.