Sunday night at EDION Arena in Osaka, Japan, WBA World flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka (18-1, 10 KOs) successfully made his initial defense of his third belt as he displayed superb defensive skills and scored a near shutout decision over Argentine Roberto Domingo Sosa (26-3-1, 14 KOs) over twelve fast rounds. Levi Martinez (US) saw it 120-108, while Ignacio Robles (Panama) and Chalerm Prayadsab (Thailand) both tallied 119-109, all in Ioka’s favor. The referee was Russell Mora (US) who handles such fast-moving flyweights very well.
The defending champ, uncut and unbruised as usual, didn’t absorb any apparent punishment since he intelligently averted almost all of the game Argentine’s attacks. Ioka looked like Miguel Canto, and showed sharp counterpunching like Jose “Mantequilla” Napoles. Ioka, 26, proved too smart and swift for Sosa, 30, who kept punching the air all the way. What Sosa displayed this night was only his great corazon (heart), not any clean effective shots to the elusive target.
Jabbing and countering with minimum and efficient footwork, Ioka steadily piled up points almost in every round. This reporter gave only the sixth to Sosa due to his non-stop rallies against the Japanese footworker. Ioka often connected with good shots to the onrushing Argentine, but Sosa was very durable and went on fighting despite his damage. The twelfth and final stanza witnessed Ioka badly hurt Sosa with a very strong body shot. But the Argentine withstood it and had a very narrow escape. We admirably saw Ioka’s finest display of textbook defenses.
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.