At the end of last year we saw Ryoichi Taguchi (22-2-1, 9) claim the WBA Light Flyweight title with an excellent win against Alberto Rossel. Today he made the first defense of that title as he took on Thai veteran Kwanthai Sithmoreseng (49-4-1, 26), and recorded an 8th round TKO win in what was a thoroughly dominant display by Taguchi.
From the first round the tactics of the challenger were clear. Kwanthai was coming in to apply a lot of pressure and neutralise the height and reach of Taguchi. Those tactics however weren't done in the best way and in the opening round Taguchi used his jab and movement to tag the challenger on the move and land some solid shots when Kwanthai did get close. It was much the same in the second round though the round was punctuated with Taguchi dropping the Thai with a hard right hand.
As the bout went on the champion became more and more confident in holding his feet. That was bad new for the challenger who had his only game plan used against him with Taguchi alternating between boxing and fighting, picking his spots to go go to war.
In round 5 Taguchi scored his second knockdown of the fight with Kwanthai being dropped very late in the round from a clean 1-2. Unfortunately the bell came before Taguchi was able to close the show. The champion smelled blood going into round 6 and went for the kill early though saw Kwanthai survive the storm until being dropped in the final seconds of the round.
Kwanthai was drown for the 4th time at the end of round 7 as Taguchi landed a hard right, though again the bell saved the Thai who was falling a long way down on the cards. It was to Kwanthai's credit that he was continuing to fight but he was looking done and a more compassionate corner may have stopped him between rounds 7 and 8.
Taguchi started fast for round 8 and went searching the stoppage with some huge right hands, a left to the body then unsettled Kwanthai who was dropped seconds later. This time the knockdown had come early in the round and it was clear that if Kwanthai was to continue he'd be down again. Instead the referee waved the bout off with Kwanthai having beaten the count but looked thoroughly out of his depth.
For Kwanthai this is almost certainly the end of his career at world level. As for Taguchi the future looks really exciting and promising with possible bouts against Randy Petalcorin or Ryo Miyazaki both being mentioned. Either of those bouts would be mouth watering contests and make up for some of the recent mismatches all 3 have been involved in recent times.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Unbeaten Japanese fighter Kazuto Ioka (13-0, 9) may have a record that looks like that of an emerging prospects but the 2-weight world champion is probably on the verge of some pound-for-pound lists.
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.
World Title Results
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