By Joe Koizumi
Why is a non-title bout the main event with a supporting card of a world title bout? It is simply because 20-year-old simon-pure Kazuto Ioka is much more popular among fight fans here than the WBA interim 154-pound ruler Nobuhiro Ishida. Some 8,300 spectators were in attendance to watch his third pro bout against a world contender. Unbeaten former eight-time national amateur champ Kazuto Ioka (3-0, 2 KOs), 109.75, a nephew of ex-two-time world champ Hiroki Ioka, defeated WBC#9/WBA#12 light-fly Takashi Kunishige (20-4-2, only 2 KOs), 107.25, by a unanimous decision (99-92, 97-93 and 97-94) on Tuesday in Osaka, Japan.
The baby-faced Ioka, whose amateur mark was 95-10, 64 stoppages (some of his defeats were by controversial decisions that prevented him from going to the Beijing Olympic Games), maintained the pressure to the puzzling southpaw who previously showed a good fight against Edgar Sosa despite an eighth-round TKO defeat in Mexico last year. Kunishge attempted to frustrate and irritate the less experienced rookie with his tricky mobility and unpredictable combinations, which weren’t so effective to the calm upright stylist. Ioka also failed to catch the difficult target with precision, but kept punching with superior volume of blows, which might give him such a wide margin though it actually looked a close affair. Kazuto, who will be promised to enter the WBC and WBA ratings with this important triumph, wishes to break his uncle Hiroki’s record of winning a world belt in his eighth pro bout.
Promoter: Ioka Promotions.