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Thursday. July 14. 2022

Ioka retains WBO world super flyweight title with one-sided decision over Nietes

World Boxing Organization world super flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka of Shisei Boxing Gym, showing his speedy jabs and movement all the way, earned a lopsided decision over top-ranked challenger Donnie Nietes of the Philippines to retain his title on July 13 in Tokyo.

After the 12-round fight at Ota City General Gymnasium, one of the three judges scored the fight 120-108 and the remaining two judges had it 118-110 and 117-111, respectively, all in favor of Ioka, who avenged his loss to Nietes on New Year’s Eve of 2018 in Macao for the then vacant WBO world super flyweight title. It was Ioka’s fifth successful defense of the title he won by beating Aston Palicte of the Philippines in June 2019.

While there were no knockdowns throughout the fight, the 33-year-old Ioka controlled the fight throughout with his jabs, left hooks and straight rights. The 40-year-old Nietes looked sluggish as he failed to land effective punches to fast-moving Ioka.

Nietes suffered a cut above his right eyelid in the eighth round due to Ioka’s left punch. Nietes also suffered a cut above his left eyelid in the 10th round by Ioka’s right hook. The injury to the left eyelid was such that Nietes bled profusely until the end of the fight.

After the fight, Ioka said from the ring, ‘’I was able to revenge my defeat three years and seven months ago. While I badly wanted to knock him out, I could not do it due to my opponent’s defense and good technique. My next target is to win in a title unification fight with a champion of another sanctioning body.’’

The day’s fight was Ioka’s 22nd world championship fight, the most for any Japanese boxer in history.
With the victory, Ioka, Japan’s only four-division titlist, improved his record to 29 wins, including 15 KOs, against two losses. For his part, Nietes, who also was a four-division titlist, now has a 43-2-6 win-loss-draw record with 23 KOs.