Last year was a year to forget for Japanese hopeful Ryoya Ikema (13-4, 11) [池間亮弥] who suffered two defeats during the year, losing to Koki Ono in February and beign stopped by the under-rated Ryoki Hirai in April. In fact 2017 was ayear where Ikema went just 1-2 (1) with his only win coming in December against a very limited Thai novice.
That poor 2017 will now be put behind the young as today Ikema claimed a career first, winning the WBC Youth Light Flyweight title.
The hard hitting youngster was in action as the City Gym in Tomigusuku as he battled Thai foe Petchaboon Sithsaithong (6-3, 5), himself a solid puncher.
The bout started slowly, with Ikema taking the first round. It wasn't long however before the Thai upped the pace, claiming the second round of the bout. Sady for the visitor winning the second round just lit a fire under Ikema who went on to take control of the bout with his skill and out put, and after 4 rounds he was in the lead 39-37 on all 3 cards, which were announced to the fans.
The control of the youngster continued through the middle rounds, with the Thai only really having an argument to win the 6th round, which one judge gave him. As a result the Japanese fighter essentially knew the bout was in the bag when the scores were announced after round 8, leading 79-73, twice, and 78-74. That saw the local take his foot off the gas.
Knowing he was home and dry if he could hear the final bell Ikema began to spoil, and was eventually deducted a point in round 10, which was won by the Thai as well to secure the visitor a 10-8 round. It was however not an issue for the local star who who would get the decision with scores of 97-92, twice and 96-93.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!