It's fair to say that 2015 ended with the Ioka gym having one of the best days. The day saw Kazuto Ioka retain the WBA Flyweight title, with an excellent stoppage win over Juan Carlos Reveco, it saw Takahiro Yamamoto retain his OPBF Bantamweight title, with a 2nd round stoppage of Yuki Strong Kobayashi and it also saw Sho Ishida (21-0, 11) retain his Japanese Super Flyweight title with an easy win over Ryuta Otsuka (15-9-2, 5), in what was one of the worst mismatches of the day.
Ishida, a really talented young product from the Ioka Gym, looked in control from the off, using his superior size, speed, power and skills to establish his fight. Otsuka, as a result was dropped early, beaten from then on and saved by his corner men in round 4 as he suffered another knockdown.
Whilst the bout was a farcical mismatch it was, in many ways, a send off for Ishida who is now looking to fight for a world title in 2016. He would certainly have to join the queue of fighters wanting a title fight next year but he has made his intention clear and joins the long list of contenders looking to make a mark in 2016.
The year of boxing really ended in a hectic day of bouts with 5 world title bouts being the headline feature. There was however other title bouts, including an OPBF Bantamweight title bout.
That title bout saw reigning champion Takahiro Yamamoto (17-4, 14) easily score the first defense of his title as he stopped the badly over-matched Yuki Strong Kobayashi (9-5, 5) in the second round of the scheduled 12 rounder.
Yamamoto, who won the title back in August when he stopped Yu Kawaguchi in a thriller, was under pressure early on from Kobayashi but quickly assumed control with his movement and power. By the end of the first round the bout was beginning to look like two men from completely different levels, with Kobayashi having been dropped twice late in the round.
It wasn't long in to round 2 before Kobayashi was dropped again and a follow up by the champion forced the referee to stop it as Kobayashi was bowled over the 4th time in a little over 4 minutes.
Back in 2013 one of our dream fights was an all Japanese showdown between the then WBC Flyweight champion Akira Yaegashi (23-5, 12) and former WBA Minimumweight champion Ryo Miyazaki (24-1-3, 15). Today that bout took a huge step forward with Miyazaki publicly challenging Yaegashi, who is now the IBF Light Flyweight champion.
Miyzaki's challenge came after he scored a 3rd round TKO win against limited Thai Thongchai Chaiyonggym (10-7-1, 4), who was stopped before Miyazaki really even broke out of first gear.
The Osakan warrior appears to feel that he needs to be stepped back up nd made it clear that he would like to face Yaegashi in Spring. If that fight is made then may well be in for a FOTY contender given the styles and mentality of both fighters. Alternatively we could see the too steered in very different directions and given the talented at 108lbs they coudl still be in some brilliant match ups.
(Image courtesy of http://www.hochi.co.jp)
Earlier today Japanese officials attended a lot of weigh ins. One of those was for the WBA Flyweight world title bout between Kazuto Ioka (18-1, 10) and the man he beat for the title earlier this year, Juan Carlos Reveco (36-2, 19).
At the weight in both men came in at 112lbs though did so very differently.
Ioka made weight on the first attempt and looked comfortable whilst a somewhat drawn Reveco had to weigh in naked to make the limit.
Although Reveco mentioned that Ioka had weighed in naked for their first bout it did come along with a protracted glove dispute that took 40 minutes to solve. The dispute was seemingly over the colour of glove that Reveco would be wearing, though he eventually agreed to wear blue, as was stated in a prior agreement. A very strange dispute though one of many strange things that has clouded Reveco's pre-fight build up, along with a very short open work out and a very disinterested look during the medical check.
Ioka and Reveco go at it again to end the year!
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow in Osaka Japanese fans get the chance to watch two world title bouts. The "lesser" of those will see IBF Minimumweight champion Katsunari Takayama (30-7-0-1, 12) defending his title against Mexican challenger Jose Argumedo(15-3-1, 9).
At the weigh in today both men made weight, with both weighing in on the divisional limit of 105lbs.
For Takayama this is the heaviest he's been since his thrilling 2014 FOTY contender against Francisco Rodriguez Jr, where he again weighed in at 105lbs. For Argumedo the weight is the same as he was in his most recent defeat, from back in May 2014 when he lost to Carlos Velarde.
Notably Argumedo did come in over-weight at a pre-weigh in check, though lost the difference by the time the actual weigh in took place, having sweat off the excess. This further adds to the thought that Argumedo is the naturally bigger man and could be a very tough fighter to budge when the two trade blows tomorrow in what is likely to be an action packed contest.
The lightning kid faces off against undeserving Mexican foe
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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