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Ioka knocks out Lara to defend title

Kyodo

Kazuto Ioka, the WBA flyweight champion, knocked out sixth-ranked Keyvin Lara in the 11th round to successfully defend his belt for the third time in a world title doubleheader on Wednesday.

Ioka, who last year in April became the fastest boxer in the world to conquer three weight divisions, sent Lara to the canvas in the 10th round at Osaka’s Edion Arena. He then put Lara’s lights out for good 1 minute, 11 seconds into the 11th to claim victory and end the Nicaraguan’s 18-bout winning streak in the process.

Ioka has a 20-1 record with 11 knockouts, while Lara dropped to 18 wins, two losses and a draw.

“Lara came at me aggressively in the first half of the bout and the pace was faster than I expected . . . I am glad about the way I was able to finish him off,” said Ioka.

In the evening’s first bout, Shingo Wake’s hopes of capturing the vacant IBF super bantamweight title ended in defeat as the top-ranked Japanese was stopped by second-ranked Jonathan Guzman of the Dominican Republic.

Taking his first crack at a world title, Wake was put on the back foot early on as Guzman opened up a gash under his right eye in the second round before sending him to the canvas in the fifth at Osaka’s Edion Arena.

After a flurry of punches from Guzman, including a big left, the fight was stopped 2 minutes, 16 seconds into the 11th round.

“Results are everything,” said Wake. “Look at the terrible state of my face. My opponent was better in every department.”

Guzman extended his perfect record to 22 fights, while Wake has 20 wins from 27 bouts including 12 knockouts with five defeats and two draws.

The fight was for the title vacated earlier this year by Carl Frampton.

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