Wednesday night at the EDION Arena in Osaka, Japan, WBA World flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka (20-1, 12 KOs), the fighting pride of Osaka, retained his title by knocking out sixth-ranked Keyvin Lara (18-2-1, 6 KOs), from Chinandega, Nicaragua, in the 11th round of a scheduled 12-round fight.
The time of the stoppage was 1:11.
Lara is five years younger than Ioka. With youth on his side he assumed, incorrectly as it turned out, he could outwork Ioka in the first half of the fight and upset the odds. But Ioka is a seasoned professional. Knowing that effective aggression is what wins rounds and fights, Ioka let Lara do his thing while effectively countering with precision shots to the head and body.
Lara began slowing down in the middle rounds, which allowed Ioka, who was patiently biding his time, to press his advantage.
Ioka began letting his hands. He was landing combinations. He was making Lara miss. He was looking for a knockout.
The champion dropped the challenger in round 10. Lara made it to his feet and was saved by the bell.
The one-minute rest period was too little time to recover. Ioka jumped on Lara at the start of the 11th and again he hit the deck. Referee Eddie Claudio administered the count, but Lara was down and out.
“Lara came at me aggressively in the first half of the bout and the pace was faster than I expected,” said Ioka after the fight. “I am glad about the way I was able to finish him off.”
At the time of the stoppage the scores were 99-90 (Pinit Prayadsab), 97-92 (Jan Christensen), and 96-93 (Glenn Feldman), all in favor of Ioka.
The WBA supervisor for the bout was Aurelio Fiengo.
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.