Ioka, who won the title late last year by stopping Jose Alfredo Rodriguez in 6 rounds started slowly against Thai challenger Wisanu Kokietgym (43-9-2, 13). Tt was really hard to think of any major highlights from the opening 2 rounds which were dominated mainly by Ioka's jab.
It wasn't until round 3 that anything of ay real note was landed by either man with Ioka opening up for the first time though the pace suddenly vanished the following round as Ioka continued to fight conservatively and was certainly looking overly cautios. It may have been that Kokietgym's southpaw style was giving Ioka problems (though it's unlikely considering how many southpaw's he's faced) but it seemed more as if Ioka wanted some rounds under his belt.
The pace picked up once again in round 5 as Ioka started to cut the ring off and impose himself on his challenger though hr rarely landed much, again being conservative despite being clearly in control of the bout. It wasn't until round 6 that Kokietgym ever really put Ioka under too much pressure. Sure he had been landing punches through out the bout but not enough of note to really trouble the champion, at the end of round 6 however he appeared to be coming back in to things.
With the challenger growing in confidence it certainly seemed that round 7 was his best round as he seemed to be more active and more accurate than many of the previous rounds. It was as close to claiming a round.
In round 8 Ioka bounced back from his worst round of the fight and really revved things up a gear again. Although he landed numerous shots he never seemed to actually hurt the challenger but was once again installing himself as the boss of the bout. As the boss Ioka looked fantastic and he seemed unwilling to give his position away in round 9, a round that saw the champion starting much quicker than he had done in many other rounds.
With the added activity it seemed only a matter of time before Kokietgym was going to be stopped, either by the referee or from a clean blow. Thankfully for fans of highlight videos it came as a result of a wonderful 3 punch combination by Ioka who started with a right to the body, then a left jab then another right to the midsection which sent the Thai down for the count.
With a prospective bout between Ioka and former Teiken fighter Roman Gonzalez later this year this didn't really serve as much of a warm up, though it did give Ioka a chance to get some rounds under his belt. At the moment it'd be hard to bet against Gonzalez who is a wrecking machine at Light Flyweight. Though if a bout with Gonzalez cannot be made Ioka certainly has other bouts out there that could be made easily enough.