Kazuto Ioka stops Aston Palicte in 10, becomes first Japanese national to win titles in four weight classes
On a big night for Japanese boxing, Kazuto Ioka stopped Aston Palicte in the 10th round to claim the vacant WBO junior bantamweight title at Makuhari Messe in Chiba City, Japan.
Ioka, currently rated No. 5 by The Ring at 115 pounds, had previously held world titles at strawweight, junior flyweight and flyweight. He becomes the first Japanese fighter in history to win world titles in four weight classes.
There were close rounds early but Ioka’s superior skillset set him on course for victory. The 30-year-old boxed expertly behind a ramrod jab and frustrated the powerful Filipino before landing a counter right hand that hurt Palicte. Ioka seized the moment and forced referee Kenny Chevalier to stop the action at 1:46.
Ioka (24-2, 14 knockouts) can now expect to be involved in some big fights within the talent laden junior bantamweight division. Palicte (25-3-1, 21 KOs) had drawn with Donnie Nietes last September before Nietes managed to edge Ioka three months later.
Boxer-puncher Hiroto Kyoguchi successfully retained his Ring and WBA junior flyweight titles with a routine points win over Satanmuanglek CP Freshmart.
The 25-year-old won a unanimous decision: 117-111 twice and 117-112. Kyoguchi stalked his Thai opponent, hurting him more than once, but he was unable to secure the stoppage.
Kyoguchi (13-0, 9 KOs) is in line for bigger fights in the second half of the year, while Satanmuanglek (11-1, 5 KOs) will have to rebuild.
Miyo Yoshida thrilled her hometown fans with a decisive 10-round unanimous decision over Casey Morton to win the vacant WBO junior bantamweight title.
Yoshida, 31, had previously held Japanese and OPBF titles at 118 pounds before electing to drop in weight. She used her greater skills to outbox the American and claim the title by margins of 100-90 twice and 99-91.
Yoshida improved to 13-1, while Morton dips to 8-2-3, 1 KO.