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Kazuto Ioka Ends Year with Spectacular Victory




Kazuto Ioka capped off the year with a stellar performance, securing a seventh-round knockout against Venezuela's Josber Perez in their WBA junior bantamweight title clash. The bout took place in Tokyo's Ota-City General Gymnasium and was broadcasted on ABEMA TV on Sunday evening.


The victory marked Ioka's return to knockout wins after a string of five decision victories and a draw. The 34-year-old, a four-division champion, had last secured a stoppage win three years ago against Kosei Tanaka in the same venue. This win further solidified his position as a dominant force in the division, bringing his record to 31-2-1 with 16 knockouts.


From the opening round, Ioka showed his intent to end the fight early, landing significant blows and scoring three knockdowns before securing the knockout in the seventh round. Perez, with a record of 20-4 with 18 knockouts, fought valiantly but was ultimately unable to withstand Ioka's relentless assault.


Ioka's victory also propelled him past fellow Japanese boxer Naoya Inoue in the record books, with the most title fight wins in Japan, standing at 20. His sights are now set on a potential unification clash with Juan Francisco Estrada, although Estrada is set to return to the ring in February for a non-title fight.


Despite the possibility of facing Jesse 'Bam' Rodriguez, the current unified IBF/WBO flyweight champion, in the future, Ioka's immediate focus remains on securing a multi-belt showdown with Estrada in 2024.

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