Kazuto Ioka defends WBO crown with TKO of unbeaten Kosei Tanaka

Kazuto Ioka defends WBO crown with TKO of unbeaten Kosei Tanaka

Japan’s Kazuto Ioka successfully defended his WBO super flyweight title for the second time on Thursday in an eighth-round technical knockout of previously unbeaten compatriot and top-ranked contender Kosei Tanaka.

The 31-year-old Ioka, who became the first Japanese to win world championships in four different weight classes, knocked down his aggressive 25-year-old opponent in the fifth and sixth rounds before staggering him with an eighth-round left that caused the referee to stop the fight.

“I thought I’d trained well, but the proof is in the ring,” said Ioka after their fight at Tokyo’s Ota City General Gymnasium in which he bided his time to launch surgical strikes while Tanaka moved in to attack at every opportunity.






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