Kazuto Ioka becomes first Japanese four-division champ with TKO of Aston Palicte

CHIBA – Veteran Kazuto Ioka became the first Japanese boxer to capture world titles in four different weight divisions with a dramatic 10th-round technical knockout of top contender Aston Palicte of the Philippines for the vacant WBO super flyweight championship at Makuhari Messe Event Hall on Wednesday night.

Ioka fought carefully and patiently against the bigger Palicte, who seemed much more powerful, putting his guard up for much of the bout.

But the 30-year-old’s outstanding defensive technique and footwork finally paid off in the decisive round when he landed a heavy counter blow to Palicte and rained down punch after punch on his opponent.

Paclite was soon unable to do anything to fend off Ioka’s attacks and referee Kenny Chevalier got in between the two fighters and waved his hand to stop it with 1 minute, 14 seconds left in the round.

“I’ve dedicated everything I’ve got to getting this belt,” said Ioka (24-2, 14 KOs), who competed in his native Japan for the first time in two years and two months. “It’s been a while for me to fight in Japan, but I’m thrilled that I’ve been able to accomplish the four-division titles on Japanese soil.”

The 28-year-old Palicte, who was the No. 1 contender, fell to 25-2-1 (21 KOs) in his pro career.

There have been six Japanese boxers, including Ioka, who have captured world titles in three different weight divisions.

Ioka fought against the Philippines’ Donnie Nietes in Macau last December looking to become a four-division king but fell short in a decision.

Ioka, a Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, native, returned from a brief retirement last year.

via BY KAZ NAGATSUKA / www.japantimes.co.jp
Photo by KYODO

Slick-punching Miyo Yoshida (13-1, no KO), 114.25, acquired the vacant WBO Female Jr. Bantamweight belt by scoring a nearly shutout decision (100-90 twice, 99-91) over Casey Morton (8-2-3, 1 KO), 115, over ten hard-fought rounds on Wednesday in Chiba, Japan as part of Ioka-Palicte undercard.

Yoshida, despite her lack of convincing power, displayed good precision in connecting with sharp left-right combinations and right uppercuts to the onrushing opponent, 35, handled by Nonito Donaire’s father.

The 31-year-old Yoshida’s sharpshooting accounted for her long-anticipated coronation.

Photo by efight.jp

Tomorrow we’ll see the highly anticipated match up between Kazuto Ioka (23-2, 13) [井岡一翔] and Aston Palicte (25-2-1, 21), who battle for the vacant WBO Jr. Bantamweight title in Chiba.

Today, ahead of their bout, the two fighters took part in their weigh in, and both men made the limit with a bit of room to spare, though it was clear that there was significant size difference between the two, and that was expected to be amplified tomorrow when the fighters get in the ring.

​On the scales Palicte was around 114.9lbs, and looked in tremendous shape, full of confidence and told the press he felt really good, he was wanting to go for the KO and declared that he would take the win, and the world title. It was revealed he was expecting to put on over 10lbs over-night and expects to be 127lbs in the ring tomorrow. If he does that he is expected to have a rather significant weight advantage, to go with his height and reach.

Ioka, who is expected to be the much lighter man tomorrow, was also lighter today, weighing in at ​around 114.6lbs. He spoke about being happy to fight back in a Japanese ring, for the first time in well over 2 years, he seemed confident and like he was glad to have experience of fighting at Super Flyweight, and knowing how to safely make weight and improve his post-weigh in recovery.

For fans wanting to watch this it will be aired on TBS, and affiliates, in Japan and UFC Fight Pass, though we’re not certain which areas fight pass will be airing this other than the US. The Japanese broadcast for the bout will begin at 9PM local time.

via asianboxing.info

Tomorrow in Chiba we’ll see Miyo Yoshida (12-1) [吉田 実代] and Casey Morton (8-1-3, 1) battle to become the new WBO female Jr. Bantamweight champion. Today, ahead of tomorrow’s bout, the two fighters took part in their weigh in, and both successfully made weight for the contest.

On the scales Yoshida had no problems at all, in fact despite regularly fighting at Bantamweight she was only 114.2lbs on the scales here and seemed to have taken her preparations incredibly seriously.

Morton quite so lucky, originally coming in over the Jr. Bantamweight limit, before rushing to the bathroom and cutting her hair, getting her under the limit with a little bit of wriggle room to spare, at around 114.9lbs.

For those wanting to watch the bout it will, sadly, only be available to users of the Paravi service in Japan, a pay TV service, who will air the bout live. Unfortunately, the service is geo-locked for those outside of Japan.

via asianboxing.info

This Wednesday from Japan, Kazuto Ioka takes on Aston Palicte for a vacant title, the first world title boxing fight to ever air on UFC Fight Pass, where it will stream for subscribers at 8 am ET on June 19.

What’s at stake?
The vacant WBO Jr. Bantamweight title is on the line in Chiba. Both fighters have recently competed for that belt, and it was vacant in each of those fights, too. Palicte had a controversial draw with Donnie Nietes last September, and then Ioka controversially lost to Nietes on New Year’s Eve in Macau. Nietes has since vacated the title.

How did Kazuto Ioka get here?
Ioka is the nephew of Hiroki Ioka, who fought professionally from 1986-1998 and won world titles at 105 and 108, and challenged for titles at 112 and 115. Kazuto became a very good domestic amateur, but failed to qualify for the 2008 Olympics and turned pro in 2009.

Now 30, Ioka has had a decorated 10-year pro career. He won the Japanese 108-pound title in his sixth pro fight in Oct. 2010, then moved down to 105 to win the WBC title in Feb. 2011, beating Oleydong Sithsamerchai in Kobe via fifth round stoppage, dominating the fight. He made a pair of successful defenses in 2011 and then gained the WBA title in a unification win over Akira Yaegashi in June 2012, which would be Ioka’s final fight at 105 pounds.

Moving back up to 108, Ioka immediately won a WBA title on New Year’s Eve 2012, and made three successful defenses and moved up again, losing a split decision loss to IBF flyweight titleholder Amnat Ruenroeng, an old amateur rival of Ioka’s, in May 2014.

Ioka picked up a flyweight belt in 2015, though, beating Juan Carlos Reveco via majority decision in Osaka. After five defenses of the title, Ioka announced a stunning retirement at age 28 — he had gotten married and had a falling out with his father and promoter, Kazunori Ioka.

After about 16 months out of the ring, Ioka returned in Sept. 2018 as a Jr. Bantamweight, scoring a solid decision win over McWilliams Arroyo on HBO airwaves, which was Ioka’s first fight in the United States. Three months later, he lost a split decision to Donnie Nietes in Macau.

Ioka again chases a world title in a fourth weight class on Wednesday. He’ll be fighting in Japan for the first time in over two years, and will look to make a triumphant return.

How did Aston Palicte get here?
Palicte, like Ioka, was a good amateur but didn’t have significant international success. The Filipino turned pro in Aug. 2010, winning his first 10 fights before being tripped up against Romnick Magos in Dec. 2012, stopped after four rounds.

Palicte would rally, winning another 10 straight before suffering a second setback in March 2016, losing a split decision over 10 rounds to Junior Granados in Mexico. Again, he came back in winning form; two fights later, he handed Oscar Cantu his first pro loss in Palicte’s US debut in Dec. 2016.

After wins over John Mark Apolinario and Jose Alfredo Rodriguez in 2017, Palicte was matched with Donnie Nietes on HBO, with the vacant WBO Jr. Bantamweight title at stake in Sept. 2018. Nietes appeared to have comfortably won, but the judges had a split draw in California.

In January, just days after his 28th birthday, Palicte stopped Jose Martinez in the second round, and on Wednesday, he goes for the WBO belt again.

Ioka-Palicte isn’t the only vacant WBO Jr. Bantamweight title fight on this card, as the women will fight for the same belt on their side. Miyo Yoshida (12-1, 0 KO) will face Casey Morton (8-1-3, 1 KO) for the female world title.

via https://www.badlefthook.com/2019/6/16/18681235/ioka-vs-palicte-preview-ufc-fight-pass-boxing-rjj-fight-time-kiyoguchi-satanmuanglek-yoshida-morton

Next Wednesday in Japan Kazuto Ioka (23-2, 13) [井岡一翔] and Aston Palicte (25-2-1, 21) will fight for the WBO Jr. Bantamweight title in Chiba. Today, ahead of their bout, the two men went face to face as they both took part in a signing ceremony for the bout.

The event saw both men talk to the press and fans in attendance and, unsurprisingly, both men talked up their chances.

Ioka stated that he had not major impression form Palicte, and had prepared to face him, realizing the Filipino is no push over.

Palicte, on the other hand, praised Ioka as a former champion but added that he had practiced hard, wanted to win and wanted to entertain, whilst coming across as incredibly confident and self assured.

​(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
via http://www.asianboxing.info/asian-news/ioka-and-palicte-go-face-to-face-at-signing-ceremoney