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Kazuto Ioka Stops Palicte; Becomes Japan's First Four-Division World Champion

By Carlos Costa
Thu, 20 Jun 2019

CHIBA, Japan -- In an exciting hard-fought battle, Kazuto Ioka stopped in ten rounds tough Filipino warrior Aston Palicte to claim the vacant WBO Super Flyweight World Title, becoming the first Japanese boxer in history to claim world titles in four different weight classes.

His historic, rewarding win unfolded Wednesday, June 19, at Makuhari Messe indoor Stadium here in the seaport City of Chiba, 40 Km southeast of Japan's capital, Tokyo.

Kazuto Ioka (24-2, 14 KO's) delivered one of the most riveting performances in his stellar career in dealing with the taller, talented, well-trained Palicte who flew into Japan wanting to overpower him, though it happened the other way around.

The strong "Mighty" Palicte (25-3-1, 21 KO's) proved to be a world-class fighter making matters complicated for the 30-year-old Ioka, winning with rough power punching some of the earlier rounds, in one of them forcing the Japanese star to absorb genuine Filipino leather.

But Ioka came back to the next chapter throwing and landing hard on Palicte's mid-section, hugely reducing the Pinoy's stamina, mobility and speed. Palicte was not the same aggressive, fast fighter after that mid-level bombardment.

In sharp contrast, Kazuto Ioka grew more confident, accurate and effective while commanding raids, especially in stanzas seven, eight and nine, landing with more continuity over the Negros Occidental brave combatant.

Kazuto Ioka captures his fourth division world crown.

The end came around half-way in chapter ten when the skilled Japanese connected a crushing left hook on the Mighty Palicte rocking him backward in emergency survival mode, things getting dicey. Could Palicte somehow get out on time of this sudden avalanche?

Unfortunately, the incoming Ioka missile was not going to let go of this golden chance. Not at all.

A furious, relentless, crushing attack followed up, further damaging a shocked Palicte who was just taking all the big blows that Ioka was dishing out, not replying not even one, getting his head hammered fast and mercilessly till veteran American third man Kenny Chevalier appropriately jumped in ending the uneven, rough battle.

It was the first time in his life that Aston Palicted gets knocked out. The official time of the TKO was 1:46 in round 10.

Right after the stoppage was decreed, Palicte's corner protested to the referee Chevalier.

However, it appeared that the halting of actions was done at the right moment as Palicte was already taking severe blows to his head, looking vulnerable.

More punches seemed dangerous and unnecessary, especially at a moment when our sport of boxing has been recently seeing its share of boxers ending in the emergency room, not only Judah and Orocuta, but also our own Arizala.

The stoppage was OK as Palicte was in trouble and referee Chevalier did what he had to do.

As a result, Kazuto Ioka, born in Osaka in 1989, becomes the first son of the Land of the Rising Sun to capture world titles in boxing in four different divisions.

Back in 2011, Ioka claimed the minimumweight crown with legendary Filipino third man Bruce MacTavish as his referee.

The next year, Ioka becomes light flyweight world champion. In 2015 Kazuta Ioka wins the Flyweight world title, and fast-forward four years till tonight, Kazuto Ioka becomes the new WBO Super Flyweight world title. Congratulations Kazuto Ioka

The author Carlos Costa is a Panama boxing reporter living in the Philippines. He attended this boxing show in Japan. Carlos can be reached at and whatsapp +639184538152.

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