Ioka captures WBC minimumweight title

Kyodo

Kazuto Ioka was crowned WBC minimumweight champion on Friday after a historic win over Oleydong Sithsamerchai of Thailand in his first crack at a world title.

Victory for 10th-ranked Ioka saw him set the Japanese record for winning a world title in the fewest number of fights — seven.

“I am able to wear this belt today because of the people who gave me all their support. Being able to do this in my seventh fight rather than my eighth is totally different,” Ioka said.

“I am glad I was able to rewrite the record. I used my footwork and worked my opponent from the outside. The fight went as planned,” he said.

Ioka sentenced Oleydong to his first career defeat in 41 bouts, stopping the Thai champion 1 minute, 7 seconds into the fifth round at Kobe World Memorial Hall. Oleydong was attempting to defend his title for the seventh time.

Ioka took the fight to Oleydong from the opening bell, backing up his opponent with his left jab and a right to the body before sending the Thai champ to the canvas once with a hard left hook in the second. He sent Oleydong down again with a decisive shot to the body in the fifth.

“When I lost I couldn’t think of anything. After I went down for the second time, I found it hard to breathe since the punch felt like it had rattled my insides. It’s disappointing to lose by a body blow,” Oleydong said.

The 21-year-old Ioka vacated the Japanese light flyweight crown after winning it on Oct. 10 in his sixth career fight.