Amnat Ruenroeng hands Kazuto Ioka first loss by decision


IBF flyweight titleholder Amnat Ruenroeng (left), of Thailand, lands a left hook to Japan's Kazuto Ioka during their match in Osaka, Japan, on May 7. Amnat defeated Ioka by split decision. Photo by JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images

IBF flyweight titleholder Amnat Ruenroeng (left), of Thailand, lands a left hook to Japan’s Kazuto Ioka en route to scoring a split-decision over the local favorite on May 7 in Osaka. Photo credit should read JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images

In a battle of unbeaten titleholders, Amnat Ruenroeng retained his IBF flyweight belt with a split-decision verdict over two-division titleholder Kazuto Ioka at the Bodymaker Colosseum in Ioka's hometown of Osaka, Japan.
One judge scored the fight for the former strawweight/junior flyweight titleholder Ioka (14-1, 9 knockouts) 114-113, but was overruled by the other two officials who scored the fight 119-108 and 115-112 for Ruenroeng (13-0, 5 knockouts) of Thailand.
Ruenroeng, 34, was able to negate Ioka's superior power with counters – particularly with the uppercut – but lost a point for holding and hitting in the tenth round. Ioka, 25, showed dedication to his body work but was unable to slow down his opponent in his first fight as a flyweight.
Ruenroeng was not rated by THE RING at flyweight heading into Wednesday's clash while Ioka was rated No. 2 at junior flyweight by the magazine.
Earlier in the night, Katsunari Takayama (27-6, 10 KOs) retained his IBF strawweight title for the second time, dropping Shin Ono (17-6-2, 2 KOs) in the tenth and twelfth rounds to secure a unanimous decision by the scores of 117-109 on one card and and 115-111 on the other two.