Kazuto Ioka Defends Flyweight Title

By Clarence George on August 11, 2015
Kazuto Ioka Defends Flyweight Title
If Kazuto is victorious next month, there'll be a rematch with Reveco on New Year's Eve.

Gone the days, perhaps, when Fighting Harada stood alone atop the center pedestal in the pantheon of great Japanese fighters…

Kazuto Ioka will defend his WBA World flyweight title against Roberto Domingo Sosa over a scheduled 12 rounds at the Prefectural Gymnasium in Osaka, Japan, on September 27.

A resident of Osaka, 26-year-old Ioka is a six-year pro (17-1, 10 KOs) who won the title in his most recent fight, decisioning Juan Carlos Reveco in April of this year. In addition, Ioka won the vacant Japanese light flyweight title in October 2010 by stopping Masayoshi Segawa via 10th-round TKO, the WBC World mimimumweight title in February 2011 by stopping Oleydong Sithsamerchai via fifth-round TKO, the WBA World minimumweight title in June 2012 by decisioning Akira Yaegashi, and that sanctioning body’s vacant World light flyweight title in December 2012 by stopping Jose Alfredo Rodriguez via sixth-round TKO. Ioka’s only loss came in May 2014, decisioned by Amnat Ruenroeng in his unsuccessful bid for the IBF World flyweight title.

An Argentine, 30-year-old Sosa turned pro nine years ago (26-2-1, 14 KOs), winning the vacant WBA Fedelatin super flyweight title in November 2007 by retiring Ariel Humberto Alassia in the third and again in June 2009 by stopping Elvis Garcia via eighth-round TKO. In addition, he scored both Argentina’s and South America’s super flyweight championships by decisioning Santiago Ivan Acosta in November 2009, the vacant WBC Latino flyweight title by decisioning Carlos Ariel Farias in February 2014, and the interim WBO Latino super flyweight title this March by decisioning Carlos Ruben Dario Ruiz. “Incho” came up short in his try for the vacant IBF World super flyweight title, losing to Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr. by unanimous decision in June 2013. His second loss came by way of Diego Luis Pichardo Liriano, who won by split decision in November 2014. Sosa most recently fought in July, drawing against Javier Nicolas Chacon.

If the Japanese is victorious next month (a pretty safe bet), there’ll be a rematch between him and Reveco on New Year’s Eve.

Kazuto is the nephew of former WBC minimumweight and WBA light flyweight champ, Hiroki Ioka, who fought from 1986 to 1998 (33-8-1, 17 KOs). But Kazuto is a hero of Japanese boxing in his own right. And he’s not alone. Others include super flyweights Naoya Inoue (8-0, 7 KOs), younger brother Takuma Inoue (5-0, 1 KO), and Sho Ishida (19-0, 10 KOs); bantamweights Ryo Matsumoto (14-0, 12 KOs) and Shinsuke Yamanaka (23-0-2, 17 KOs); super featherweights Rikki Naito (13-0, 5 KOs) and the phenomenal Takashi Uchiyama (23-0-1, 19 KOs); and minimumweight Kosei Tanaka (5-0, 2 KOs).

Gone the days, perhaps, when Hall of Famer Fighting Harada stood alone atop the center pedestal in the pantheon of great Japanese fighters.

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ボクシング 井岡一翔 ワンパンチKO!| One Punch KO ! Kazuto Ioka vs Jean Piero Pérez

Kazuto Ioka vs Akira Yaegashi Strawweight title WBC/WBA (English Commentator) 20/06/2012

Kazuto Ioka vs Amnat Ruenroeng's IBF Flyweight title (English Commentator) 07/05/2014

Kazuto Ioka vs Juan Carlos Reveco's WBA Flyweight title (English Commentator) 22/04/2015

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  1. kb 11:09am, 08/13/2015

    Yep. When I lived in Asia, I saw a lot of fights in both Tokyo and in Seoul. And of course in Thailand.  Became friends with several South Koran boxers. These experiences got me right back into boxing when I returned to the US,

  2. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 04:17pm, 08/12/2015

    Clarence George-Now I remember the scene I referred to, it was in Takeshi Kitano’s 2003 take on Zatoichi with Beat Takeshi in the starring role….the closing dance number….yes ...dance number…. is a pure joy.

  3. Koolz 03:10pm, 08/12/2015

    Oh man I can’t wait for this fight!  Kazuto is a rare talent in the ring!

    Zatoichi huh….
    There is so much I could write this….but na
    most people would rather care about Musashi these days.

  4. Clarence George 12:57pm, 08/12/2015

    Gladdened by the quantity and quality of comments generated by my unworthy effort (no, gentlemen, please!), but I know nothing of these Zatoichi films of which you speak.  Something to look into.

  5. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 11:36am, 08/12/2015

    nicolas-If memory doesn’t fail, it was a more recent film in color with some scenes in black and white for effect. As I recall the scene I refer to was all the more dramatic because Zatoichi stands alone with his head bowed in the rain with his devastated foes scattered all about him…..anyway that’s the way I remember it. I’ve always liked Viloria but I guess Roman is another matter all together.

  6. nicolas 11:29am, 08/12/2015

    Forgot also to mention, that for about 30 years, the WBC title was only held by an Asian fighter until Gonzalez came along to win that WBC title.

  7. nicolas 11:11am, 08/12/2015

    Irish Frankie, was the Zatoichi film a color one or a balck and white one? I much prefer the black and white ones that I saw. Criterion released a whole collection a few years back of them. As for the flyweight division today, it is far more interesting now then ever before, especially with Gonzalez, and the announcement of Gonzalez vs Viloria is interesting, though I see Gonzalez probably stopping VIloria, who had seen better years, and that was not so long ago. As I have written before, and had planned to write once an article for Boxing.com, the WBC as gone on an interrupted spree of over 40 years, with out a vacant title being fought at flyweight, just a succession of champs who have lost there titles, not vacated it to go up to a higher weight, or retired as champ. That will probably end with Gonzalez. The great years of the flyweight division were the 60’s and 70’s, from Pone Kingpech to that outstanding Mexican fighter who is in the IBHOF, and whose name escapes me at the moment. I feel it started to go bad when they created the two weight classes below the division. Back then you still had European contenders and champs, like McGowan of Scotland, and later Charlie Magri and even Dave McCauley, up to the 90’s. But it is the 60’s and 70’s, not before WWII as some would have ou believe, when back then they were almost all Brits and other European fighters. Though I do think that probably Jimmy Wilde, Fidel La Barba would beat and hold there own against future champs.

  8. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 10:40am, 08/12/2015

    Clarence George-This one really informs….I’m betting that in days gone by Ted Sares has been to the fights in person in Japan. Nicolas is really sharp isn’t he…so is Eric. Simply beautiful straight from the shoulder, text book right KOs very frisky Perez in the video above. Have you viewed any of the Blind Swordsman/ Zatoichi films? One scene stands out where Zatoichi engages a small army of swordsman and prevails….Zatoichi is left standing on a hillside with numerous bloody corpses strewn about minus heads and limbs.

  9. Clarence George 07:00am, 08/12/2015

    Do what to her in Maine?  And what is this “luck bit”?  Pidgin Chinese, is it?  Ha!  Yes, I not infrequently spend at least part of the day chortling over my own delightful witticisms.

    Yes, yes, I’m going to read what you sent me.  Sheesh!

  10. kb 05:56am, 08/12/2015

    I sent you some email on this. I am now off to Bangor, Maine so count yourself luck bit I SHALL RETURN


  11. Clarence George 05:05am, 08/12/2015

    Appreciate your input, KB, as I know of your interest in the Asians and the lower weight divisions.

    Personally, I don’t see much of a resurgence and I can’t possibly bring myself to describe the heavyweight division as “solid,” but the Italian accent you employed in your initial post got a well-deserved chortle.

  12. KB 04:53am, 08/12/2015

    Last going forward post on this subject.:.

    While it is relatively rare for Japanese fighters to toil outside of their homeland, potential mega-fights involving Roman Gonzalez and other non-Japanese may force the issue. The thought—and hope– of a Gonzalez-Inoue face-off has the potential of affirming what every serious fan already knows to wit: the flyweight division is boxing’s most competitive division.

  13. KB 04:48am, 08/12/2015


    In the super-talented flyweight division, Roman “Chocolatito” González rules the roost ahead of such tough customers as Juan Francisco Estrada, streaking Thai Amnat Ruenroeng, the always-tough Brian Viloria, exciting Japanese fighter Kazuto Ioka who just beat Argentinean Juan Carlos Reveco in Osaka, Moruti Mthalane of South Africa, always rugged Giovani Segura, and Puerto Rican McWilliams Arroyo who recently lost a split decision to Ruenroeng in Thailand. Aside from Chocolatito, any of these fighters can beat the other on any given night. This division is as rich as a vein of gold, , but there’s another burgeoning star at 115 pounds named Naoya “Monster” Inoue. A fight with Gonzales down the road would be a genuine Fight of the Century.

    In some respects, these little fighters, along with the tsunami of Eastern European boxers and a solid heavyweight division, have provided a strong foundation for boxing’s resurgence. The fact is, it’s already occurred and can only get better.

  14. KB 04:45am, 08/12/2015

    Naoya Inoue is the one. Oba was great but his career wasa cut short Like Salvador Sancez’s

  15. Clarence George 01:29am, 08/12/2015

    Appreciate the comment, Nicolas.

    Fighting Harada was truly great.  Personally, I think he’s in a class by himself among Japanese boxers and I’m not sure that will ever change.  That’s why I used the word “perhaps.”  I think I’m right that Harada was the only Japanese inducted into the IBHOF (in 1995) until just this year, when Yoko Gushiken and Masao Ohba got in.  That doesn’t mean, of course, that there aren’t several other outstanding ones, in addition to those you mentioned, including Yoshio Shirai, Jiro Watanabe, and the rather underrated (but terrifically named) Guts Ishimatsu.  What I was trying to convey (though perhaps not as successfully as I thought) is that with this abundance of fighters all coming along at the same time, Japan may be on the verge of consensus recognition as a major player in the world of boxing, at least at the lower weight divisions (which, admittedly, only interest so many fans).  That didn’t happen in the days of Harada and Ebihara (except specifically for Harada), but, thanks to the Internet, it could happen today.  Could…not necessarily will.

  16. nicolas 10:47pm, 08/11/2015

    I disagree with your last paragraph. Back in Harrada’s days, there were many just as good Japanese fighters. Ebihara, Oba, and Kuinaki SHibata. This was at a time when we might have only two world champs. Now thanks to the IBF and the WBO you do have more. For many years, the IBF and WBO could not stage world title fights in that country, unfortunately, that changed, probably for economic reasons, as the more champions, the more money can be made. It is interesting though, that while Japan in the late 70’s to early 90’s, seemed to have less champs than Thailand and South Korea, they have more, with South Korea having really no rated fighters. An article about that situation in South Korea, would be of great interest.

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