The classy 24 year old showed why he is so highly rated earlier today as he defended his WBA Light Flyweight title for the second time and hardly seemed to break a sweat in a dominant and one-sided victory over experienced Thai Kwanthai Sithmorseng (43-2-1, 22).
The worst round for the champion was the opening round, a round in which he appeared to focus on establishing his jab rather than letting loose with too much in terms of power shots. Unfortunately for Kwanthai he looked to be out of his depth even with Ioka not showing too much of his arsenal.
In the second round Ioka started to show what he had and began to follow up the jab with more forceful shots. It appeared obvious that Ioka wasn't wanting this bout to go the distance and round after round he seemed to just press a bit more for the stoppage. It wasn't ruthless but it was thoroughly controlling by the youngster who never looked in any trouble at all.
Although Kwanthai saw out round 3 without many problems he did seem hurt for the first time in the fourth round as the Japanese champion turned the screw again. He moved a class again in round 5 as Kwanthai was forced to show his bravery though it was beginning to look futile with Ioka in control of the tempo, the range and pretty much everything. The bout was being fought pretty much as Ioka wished.
Ioka's controlled domination continued through round 6 before he stepped on the gas and forced Kwanthai down in the seventh. Although Kwanthai looked like he could have beaten the count even he appeared to know he was a beaten man and got up reluctantly just after the referee got to the 10 count.
With Ioka's stablemate, Ryo Miyazaki, suggesting he was moving up to Light Flyweight following for his narrow victory over Jesus Silvestre, it seems likely that Ioka may also move up and launch an assault on the Flyweight division. Speculation is rife that Ioka could return on December 31st to face either Roman Gonzalez, Akira Yaegashi, for a second bout between the two, or Juan Carlos Reveco.
Incidentally Reveco seems to have suddenly become a wanted man with both Gonzalez and Ioka now looking like they want him as a dance partner.