Kazuto Ioka has retained his WBO Junior Bantamweight title in an absolute war with Kosei Tanaka in the final title fight of the year.

The pair slugged it out but the 31-year-old Ioka showed just why he is the champ having won in an eighth round TKO as he knocked Tanaka out on his feet.

Tanaka had been knocked down twice before in the fifth and sixth round but a massive left hook left the challenger in la la land as Ioka defended his title for the second time.

Both men came into the fight as world title winners at multiple weights with the 25-year-old Tanaka fighting to become the fastest fighter to win four weight divisions have held the WBO mini-flyweight title from 2015 to 2016, the WBO junior-flyweight title from 2016 to 2017 and the WBO flyweight title.

Incredibly, he still has seven more fights to beat Oscar de la Hoya’s record but his 15-0 record now has its first loss.

Tanaka was a massive favorite in the fight but despite both men copping punishment, it was Ioka who withstood best, with three brutal knockdowns from left hooks giving him the belt.

Ioka for the knockout was at 6-1 odds according to Fox boxing reporter Mike Ortega which was stunning for the defending champ.

Ioka has trod the ground ahead of Tanaka, having won the mini-flyweight, light-flyweight, flyweight and super flyweight titles.

It appeared an even fight to start off with both men dishing out punishment, but late in the fifth, Ioka hit Tanaka with a right before coming over the top with what the commentator called “a picture perfect” left hook that floored the challenger.

In the sixth, another left hook left Tanaka on the canvas again as he went looking for the KO as Ioka smelled blood.

With his back against the wall, Tanaka came out swinging to finish the round.

He swung until the end with Ioka waiting for the right time before his left knock Tanaka out only to be caught by the referee.

By Andrew McMurtry, news.com.au

After weeks talks and murmurs news broke today that UK specialist boxing channel Boxnation, along with Premier Sports, would be airing the WBO Junior Bantamweight world title bout between defending champion Kazuto Ioka (25-2, 14) [井岡一翔] and unbeaten challenger Kosei Tanaka (15-0, 9) [田中恒成].

The bout, which will be aired live from Tokyo, will have English language commentary provided by the fantastic Corey Erdman.

For US fans there is still no confirmed TV deal, but for British fans this gives them an English language option to go alongside the Japanese option given by TBS.

via AsianBoxing.info

WBO World Champions Kosei Tanaka, Kazuto Iok, Miyo Yoshida successfully kept a grip on their respective crowns during the annual Japanese title fest to bring in 2020.

WBO Flyweight World Champion Tanaka, for his part, dominated and halted Wulan Tuolehazi to defend his title. Tanaka proved too powerful and ended the fight in the third round. Tanaka is now 15-0 and has already won world straps in three weight divisions. The Tuolehazi victory adds to Tanaka’s victories over Jonathan Gonzalez and Ryoichi Taguchi. It caps another fine year for the rising star.

WBO Jr. Bantamweight World Champion Ioka made it two wins on the spin with a unanimous decision triumph over Jeyvier Cintron. A close and competitive contest ended with Ioka gaining the W 116-112 twice and 115-113 on the scorecards. Boasting a record of 25-2 and himself a four-weight ruler, Ioka has only been defeated at the very top level.

WBO Female Jr. Bantamweight World Champion Miyo Yoshida dominated China’s Li Ping Shi to push to 14-1 record. Scorecards: 97-92, 99-91, 98-90.

Jhunriel Ramonal picked up the vacant World Boxing Organisation Asia Pacific Jr. Featherweight Title after defeating Yusaku Kuga in the very first round.

WBO Asia Pacific Mini-Flyweight Champion Ginjiro Shigeoka improved to 5-0 by stopping former world champion and veteran Rey Loreto in five rounds.

via www.worldboxingnews.net

The weigh-in ceremony of the year-end world title tripleheader took place today (Monday) at Shingawa Prince Hotel, where the results were as follows:

WBO Junior Bantamweight title

Kazuto Ioka (Japan) 115 vs. Jeyvier Cintron (Puerto Rico) 114.75

WBO Flyweight title

Kosei Tanaka (Japan) 112 vs. Wulan Tuolehazi (China) 112

WBO Female Junior Bantamweight title

Miyo Yoshida (Japan) 114.75 vs. Li-Ping Shi (China) 112.25

The officials thereof were announced by the JBC (Japan Boxing Commission), as follows:

Ioka vs. Cintron
Referee Tony Weeks (US); judges Wes Melton (US), Julio Cesar Alvarado (Panama), Philip Austin (Australia); supervisor Leon Panoncillo (US)

Tanaka vs. Wulan
Referee Jose Rivera (Puerto Rico); judges Hernando Steidel (Puerto Rico); Julio Cesar Alvarado (Panama), Sawaeng Thaweekoon (Thailand); supervisor Tsuyoshi Yasukochi (Japan)

Referee Jose Rivera (Puerto Rico); Wes Melton (US), Sawaeng Thaweekoon (Thailand), Philip Austin (Australia); Leon Panoncillo (US)

This show is presented by Watanabe Promotions in association with Hatanaka Promotions. The main event of the Ioka-Cintron bout will be shown nationwide through TBS Television at 6:00 PM on Tuesday (New Year’s Eve) here in Japan.

By Joe Koizumi / Fightnews.com

On December 31st we’ll see the year close out with a stacked card from Watanabe, headlined by WBO Jr. Bantamweight Champion Kazuto Ioka (24-2, 14) [井岡一翔] taking on mandatory challenger Jeyvier Cintron (11-0-0-1, 5). Today the men went face to face for the first time, meeting at the Haneda airport in Japan.

The two engaged in a lengthy, and intense face off, as well as talking to the press in quite a public setting.

Ioka seemed impressed by his opponents reputation, speaking about how Cintron is a 2-time Olympian and an undefeated professional. But added that he was prepared to win, and had been Stateside until just a few days ago.

​If Ioka wins, as is expected by many, there was two names suggested that he may face off with next. One of those is fellow Japanese fighter Kosei Tanaka (14-0, 8) [田中恒成], who will be defending his WBO Flyweight title against awkward Chinese challenger Wulan Tuolehazi (13-3-1, 6) [乌兰] on the same show, and the other is Nicaraguan great Roman Gonzalez (48-2, 40). Despite those names being mentioned to him today, Ioka stated that his focus was solely on Cintron.

Cintron on the other hand explained how he was honoured to have a fight in Japan, and came to take the belt back to Puerto Rico. He stated he was in good shape and seemed very calm and relaxed.

via asianboxing.info

AN JUAN, PUERTO RICO- Puerto Rican Jeyvier Cintron traveled early this morning to Japan for the upcoming challenge with Japanese Kazuto Ioka for the 115-pound WBO belt on December 31 at the Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan.

Cintrón (11-0 1ND, 5 KOs), the first Puerto Rican boxer to participate in two Olympic Games (2012 and 2016), went along with his trainer Iván “Iron Boy” Calderón, also trainer Alfonso “Ury” Ramos, his father and former boxer Javier “Perrito” Cintrón, and Peter Rivera, Vice-President of PR Best Boxing Promotions.

The WBO’s mandatory challenger at 115 pounds will face Ioka (24-2, 14 kos), who has been world champion in four divisions (105, 108, 112 and 115 pounds) and won the WBO belt at 115 pounds when he beat Filipino Aston Palicte by TKO in June when faced for the vacant title.

For the Ioka-Cintron meeting, the officials have already been assigned. The referee will be the American Tony Weeks and the judges Wes Melton (United States), Phil Austin (Australia) and Julio César Alvarado (Panama). The WBO supervisor will be León Panoncillo Jr.

☑️Upcoming WBO World Title Bouts:

💥November 30 – Undisputed WBO Welterweight Female Champion Cecilia Braekhus Vs. Victoria Noelia Bustos @ Casino de Monte Carlo Salle Medecin, Monte Carlo, Monaco.

💥November 30 – WBO Bantamweight World Champion Zolani Tete Vs. John Riel Casimero @ Arena Birmingham, Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom.

💥December 7 – Unified WBO Heavyweight Champion Andy Ruiz Vs. Anthony Joshua @ Diriyah Arena, Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.

💥December 7 – WBO Jr. Featherweight World Champion Emanuel Navarrete Vs. Francisco Horta @ Auditorio GNP Seguros, Puebla, Mexico.

💥December 14 – WBO Welterweight World Champion Terence Crawford Vs. Egidijus Kavaliauskas @ Madison Square Garden, New York, USA.

💥December 14 – WBO Jr. Flyweight Female Champion Tenkai Tsunami Vs. Jessebelle Pagaduan @ Uchinoura Ginga Arena, Kimotsuki -cho, Kagoshima, Japan.

💥December 31 – WBO Jr. Bantamweight Female World Champion Miyo Yoshida Vs. Li Ping Shi @ Ota-City General Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan.

💥December 31 – WBO Flyweight World Champion Kosei Tanaka Vs. Wulan Tuolehazi @ Ota-City General Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan.

💥December 31 – WBO Jr. Bantamweight World Champion Kazuto Ioka Vs. Jeyvier Cintron @ Ota-City General Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan.

💥January 10, 2020 – For vacant WBO Jr. Middleweight Female Championship Claressa Shields Vs. Ivana Habazin @ Ocean Resort Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA.

💥February 1, 2020 – Unified Jr. Welterweight Champion Jose Ramirez Vs. Viktor Postol @ Mission Hills Haikou, Haikou, China.

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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

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

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

World Boxing Organization (WBO) No. 1-ranked contender “Mighty” Aston Palicte (25-2-1, 21 KOs)is currently training in Baguio, Philippines, for his June 19th showdown with three-division world champion Kazuto Ioka (23-2, 13 KOs) for the vacant WBO Junior Bantamweight World Championship, at Makuhari Messe in Chiba City, Chiba, Japan.

UFC Fight Pass® has the worldwide live streaming rights outside of Japan. Palicte vs. Ioka will be the first world boxing championship streamed live on FIGHT PASS, which recently finalized an agreement with Palicte’s promoter, Roy Jones, Jr. Boxing Promotions (RJJ Boxing), to live- stream up to 72 professional boxing events on FIGHT PASS through 2021.

Palicte vs. Ioka is co-promoted by RJJ Boxing and Reason Taki Promotions.

“Everything is in place to have the first World Title fight ever shown on UFC FIGHT PASS,” RJJ Boxing CEO/Co-Founder Keith Veltre said. “Promoting the first World Title fight on the UFC platform is big and I promise fireworks will be in full force with Palicte vs Ioka.”

“Ioka is a very solid boxer who has good head and foot movements,” noted living legend Roy Jones, Jr., co-founder of RJJ Boxing. “He also counter-punches well. So, Aston will have to be on his ‘A’ game. He will have the edge in power, but he can’t allow Ioka to make him punch himself out.”

The first half of Palicte’s training camp for the Ioka fight was held in Manila. “Camp has been good,” Palicte reported. “I got in some sessions with my teammate, Kristian Hernandez, and American Ernel Fontanilla, in Manila. We’re training in Baguio for several reasons: focus, high altitude and sparring with Philippine National Team members.”

The 28-year-old Palicte knocked out his previously unbeaten Puerto Rican opponent, Jose “Chiquiro” Martinez, this past January 31st in the second round of their WBO title eliminator. Palicte become the mandatory challenger for the then WBO champion and fellow Filipino, Donnie “Ahas” Nietes, who subsequently relinquished his title belt rather than accept a Palicte rematch to pursue more lucrative fights than a rematch with his countryman.

Nietes and Palicte had fought to a controversial 12-round draw last September for the then vacant WBO junior bantamweight world title. Nietes, ironically, captured the title last December 31st in Macao, China, winning a controversial 12-round split decision.

“Fighting Nietes for the world title helped a lot,” Palicte added. “It taught me how to be composed and focused under pressure.”

The No. 2-rated Ioka, 30, is a four-time, three-division world champion having already captured the World Boxing Association (WBA) flyweight, WBA light flyweight, and WBA/World Boxing Council (WBC) minimumweight championships.

His only two losses as a professional, both by way of 12-round split decisions, have been in world title fights to Nietes and Amnat Ruenroeng for the International (IBF) flyweight title in 2014.

Ioka, who has a 13-2 (3 KOs) record in world title fights, is on a mission to become the first Japanese boxer to be world champion in four different divisions. The only other members of this elite Nippon club are Hozumi Hagegawa, Koki Kameda, Akira Yaegashi and Naoko Fuijioka, the lone female in the group.

“Ioka is definitely a top contender and I will not look past that,” Palicte remarked. “He’s going to give it his all just as I will. We’ll stick with our game plan and everything else about his past is just background for us.”

A victory over Ioka will allow Palicte to join Filipino world boxing champions, past and present, such as Nietes, Manny Pacquiao, Pancho Villa, Flash Elorde, and Nonito Donaire, among others.

Palicte has received tips and words of encouragement from some of his world champion Filipino boxers and he isn’t concerned about fighting Ioka in Japan. “The common words everyone has given me is to put in the work,” Palicte concluded, “because training camp determines the outcome of every fight performance.

“Ideally, of course, we’d rather fight in the states, but we also have nothing but the utmost respect for Japan and its culture. We are all looking forward to the experience.”

via https://www.boxingnews24.com/2019/05/aston-palicte-training-in-high-altitude-camp-to-fight-4-time-world-champion-kazuto-ioka/

Officials for Nietes-Ioka WBO Title Fight

The World Boxing Organization (WBO) headquartered in the Island of Enchantment, Puerto Rico, has assigned Las Vegas Hall of Fame referee Robert Byrd, 75, as the third man in the coming clash for the vacant WBO Jr. Bantamweight title between world-class Filipino fighter Donnie ” AHAS ” Nietes, 36, and Japanese star Kazuto Ioka, 29, an intriguing battle between two 3-division world champions set for New Year’s Eve at the plush Wynn Palace Cotai in the startling “Las Vegas of Asia,” Macao.

Inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 2006, Robert Byrd was the third man in last year’s blockbuster tiff between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor.

Incidentally, on fight day, December 31, the experienced Robert Byrd will be celebrating his 76th birthday. Advance Happy Birthday, Sir.

It will be the fourth time that the WBO assigns Byrd as a referee in a Donnie Nietes (41-1-5, 23 KO’s) world title fight. In 2011, he was the third man in Nietes-Garcia Hirales in Bacolod; and in 2014, Byrd worked again as the referee in Nietes-Fuentes II and also in the Nietes-Velarde rumble.

However, it will be the first time that the well-known Byrd works in a fight of Kazuto Ioka (23-1, 13 KO’s), one of the most popular boxers in Japan today.

In addition to being the third man for the Donnie Nietes-Kazuto Ioka clash, Robert Byrd will also work as the referee in the fight of Hong Kong rising-star Raymond Poon Kai Ching (6-1, 3 KO’s) as the hard-hitting 22 year-old 108-pounder battle for the vacant WBC ABCO Light Flyweight title.

Finally, the fight supervisor for the Donnie Nietes vs Kazuto Ioka rumble will be WBO Vice President Leon P. Panoncillo Jr., of Hawaii; while the ringside judges will be: Levi Martinez of New Mexico, Patricia Morse Jarman of Las Vegas and Samuel Nieto of Panama.

By Carlos Costa / PhilBoxing.com