By Joe Koizumi
Photo: Boxing Beat
Quiz to Japanese fight scribes. Can you mention all the names of eleven current world champions out of Japan without fail? Even this reporter is afraid of missing one or two. Tomorrow (Wednesday) there will be a world title twinbill in Osaka, Japan. Unbeaten WBA light-flyweight champ Kazuto Ioka (12-0, 8 KOs) of Japan will defend his 108-pound belt against WBA#5 Thailander and ex-WBA 105-pound titlist Kwanthai Sithmorseng (43-1-1, 22 KOs) over twelve rounds at the Bodymaker Coliseum. In a companion title go, WBA minimum champ Ryo Miyazaki (19-0-3, 11 KOs) of Japan, Ioka’s stablemate, will take on interim ruler Jesus Silvestre (27-3, 20 KOs) from Mexico in the first twelve frames.
Ioka, 24, is making his third defense of his second world belt he acquired by demolishing Jose Rodriguez in six rounds last December. Though Kwanthai, 31, once seized the WBA minimum belt and has good credentials with only one defeat in forty-five bouts, he couldn’t successfully defend his world throne even once only to forfeit it to Muhammad Rachman via ninth round knockout in Indonesia in 2011. Rachman wasn’t an excellent champ at all, and Ioka’s easy triumph will be highly expected.
Miyazaki, 25, will face the interim ruler Silvestre, 23, in a competitive bout. The champ reportedly had a severe weight problem and barely made the class limit, while Silvestre is reported to have a good condition, showing a fine form in a public workout here. The Mexican previously defended his interim belt by stopping Japan’s Takuya Mitamura in four rounds in his native Mexico in October of the previous year, and stays busy and active to show his improvement. Miyazaki is a puncher, while Silvestre is a boxer-puncher. They will show a competitive battle to the audience in Osaka.
The weigh-in ceremony was over with Ioka 108 and Kwanthai 107.75; Miyazaki and Silvestre both 105 (the class limit).
The WBA officials are as follows:
referee Merkki Meronen (Finland); judges Ignacio Robles (Panama), Reina Urbaez (Venezuela), Lahcen Oumghar (Netherland).
referee Oumghar; judges Robles, Urbaez, Meronen.
WBA supervisor: Alan Kim (Korea) as for both title bouts.
It will be presented by Ioka Promotions.