In the early part of the 2010’s Japanese fighter Ryo Miyzaki (24-2-3, 15) looked like a man set to be a key figure of the Osakan boxing scene, along with stablemate and close personal friend Kazuto Ioka. It seemed like the two were going to help move the Ioka Gym on to the next level and become stars of the Japanese scene for a decade or so
Whilst Kazuto Ioka managed to stay the course and become one of the most important Japanese fighters of the 2010’s, and now the 2020’s, the same couldn’t be said of Miyazaki, who failed to reach the heights some had hoped to see from him. Despite that he still did a decent amount with his career, which ran from 2006 to 2016 and features a mix of lows and highs. Among his successes were Japanese, OPBF and world titles reigns, though issues away from the ring and issues with his weight certainly prevented his career from reaching the heights many had expected him to reach.
With his successes in mind however, we’ve decided to take a look back on Miyazaki’s career and go into some depth on the 5 most significant wins for... Ryo Miyazaki.
1-Munetsugu Kayo (October 12th 2009)
Miyazaki’s professional career began on Christmas eve 2006 at the age of 18, and over the following 2 and a bit years he had run up a solid looking record of 9-0-2 (5) against a mix of lower level domestic and Thai opponents. His potential was clear, but there were questions still being asked of him. In October 2009 he did well to answer those questions, as he took on Japanese Light Flyweight champion Munetsugu Kayo.
Kayo had previously held the OPBF title before winning the Japanese title in 2007 and had defended it 5 times heading into his clash with the unbeaten Miyazaki. He was expected to be the favourite coming into the bout, and things seemed to instantly go against Miyzaki, who was left damaged from a headclash in the first minute of the bout. Despite the rude awakening to title level boxing for the 21 year old Miyzaki, he regrouped well and ended up out working Kayo, using his youth and speed well to rack up the rounds. After 10 rounds he had done enough to take a clear decision and the title in a very mature performance for the then youngster.
2-Katsuhiko Iezumi (June 14th 2010)
After winning the Japanese title Miyazaki would make just a single defense of the belt, fighting to a technical draw with Suguru Takizawa in early 2010, before setting his eyes on the OPBF Light Flyweight title, held by Katsuhito Iezumi. On paper this was another clear step up for Miyazaki against someone with a wealth of experience and several defenses of the OPBF title under his belt.
Despite the step up in class Miyazaki again impressed, using his speed and movement well to offset Iezumi’s pressure and stifling Iezumi’s work. Offensively Miyazaki built slowly through the bout, using his jab well, until round 8 when he erupted, staggering Iezumi on to the ropes and unloaded, forcing a mandatory 8 count. When the bout resumed Miyazaki smelled blood and ended up finishing off Iezumi and claiming the OPBF title.
3-Pornsawan Porpramook (December 31st 2012)
After making 4 defenses of the OPBF Light Flyweight title Miyazaki looked to move his career forward, and did so by dropping down in weight, to compete at Minimumweight. After stablemate Kazuto Ioka vacated the WBA Minimumweight title Miyazaki got a shot at the belt, taking on Thai tough guy Pornsawan Porpramook, aka Somporn Seeta. This was a huge step up for Miyazaki, against a former world champion and a well known tough nut who had pushed the likes of Donnie Nietes and Oleydong Sithsamerchai all the way, beaten Muhammad Rachman and had been involved in a sensational bout with Akira Yaegashi.
The bout between Miyazaki and Porpramook started slowly enough, but as it got on and start to go through the rounds it was a brilliant stylistic match up between the speed and guts of Miyazaki and the pressure and work rate of Pornsawan. As a result we ended up having a brilliant, hotly contested war that saw both men forced to take a lot of punishment in a pulsating 12 rounder. It seemed, at least to us, that the Thai deserved the win, but the judges disagreed, giving Miyzaki a split decision win and the WBA Minimumweight title, in a career defining victory for the Osaka fighter.
4-Carlos Velarde (May 8th 2013)
Sadly Miyazaki’s reign as the WBA Minimumweight champion wasn’t the best, and he made only two defenses of the belt. The first of those saw him take on aggressively minded Mexican fighter Carlos Velarde, who went to Japan with every intention of going to war with Miyazaki and taking the title.
Through 4 rounds this was a really, really good fight. A very under-rated little war with both men having moments until Miyazaki laned a bomb in round 5, almost beheading Velarde in the process. The shot was a KO of the year contender and was a true highlight reel finish for a man who hadn’t been known as a puncher. Although Miyazaki could hit, his stoppages, usually, came from accumulation, but here he looked like a KO artist with a finish that deserves to be watched over and over. This was the perfect way for Miyazaki to end his first defense and to establish his reign.
5-Jesus Silvestre (September 11th 2013)
As previously mentioned Miyazaki’s reign as the WBA Miniumweight champion was a short lived one, with the Japanese fighter moving up in weight at the end of 2013. Before he did that however he faced off with talented Mexican Jesus Silvestre, the then interim champion, and the two men put on a hotly contested bout that really could have gone either way.
From the off it was clear the two men were very much on the same level. Neither man could ever get much of an upper hand in a bout that saw every round being competed for. Every round of the bout saw the two men each land solid leather, and each needed to adapt to the successes of their opponents. It wasn’t an all out war, but it was a compelling 12 rounds battle that shifted and changed every round. In the end Miyazaki did just enough to claim the majority decision, and his second defense of the title.
Sadly Miyazaki’s career would essentially fall apart after this win. Just months after this win he dipped his toes at 108lbs and was stopped by Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr, in a massive up, send would only pick up a few very low key wins before losing to Ryoichi Taguchi in 2016, ending his career on that back of that loss. Oddly Silvestre’s career would also suffer after this, losing 3 of his following 7 bouts, before stringing together some very, very low key wins on the Mexican domestic scene.
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