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17 NOVEMBER 2018


Ioka Regains Family Heirloom

Kazuto Ioka
Kazuto Ioka

By Derek Bonnett: The sport of boxing is replete with great stories. Just hours ago, Kazuto Ioka penned an important piece of strawweight boxing history with his mighty left hand.

At World Memorial Hall in Kobe, Hyogo, Japan, the twenty-one year old 105 pounder captured the WBC minimumweight title with a fifth round TKO of previously unbeaten Oleydong Sithsamerchai. After dropping Sithsamerchai in round two with a flush left hook the head, the powerful Ioka engaged the champion with power shots and forced him to the ropes.

Sithsamerchai was reduced to posturing at times and could not get punches off due to the heavy arsenal coming back at him. A thunderous left hook to the body finished the champion in the fifth round and Ioka was crowned champion in just his seventh pro bout to move to 7-0 (5). Sithsamerchai dropped to 35-1-1 (13). Sithsamerchai’s reign began in November of 2007 and included six title defenses.

Now, why is this bout so significant? Well, back in October of 1987, at the age of nineteen, Hiroki Ioka, Kazuto’s uncle, captured the inaugural WBC 105 pound title with a win over Mai Thomburifarm (Also spelled Thonburoform in Harry Mullan’s Big Book of Boxing) in Osaka, Japan. Ioka lost the WBC title in November of 1988 to Napa Kiatwanchai. Nearly twenty-three years later, that WBC belt is back in the hands of the Ioka family.

Today, a star was born in Hyogo, Japan. Kazuto Ioka has plenty of time to measure up to his uncle, who also moved up to 108 pounds to become world champion with an upset of the previously unbeaten Myung Woo Yuh.

However, Uncle Hiroki got a two year jump on the latest sensation at 105 pounds. Boxing’s faithful fans of the lighter weight classes have something to look forward to in the coming years.

For further boxing discussion contact Derek Bonnett on Facebook or at

February 11, 2011

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