by Ted Sares
Fighting mostly in Osaka, the 24-year-old Kazuto Ioka has won eight championship fights in a row—many with spectacular knockouts…
I have been for some time now touting a showdown fight between Nicaraguan bomber Roman “El Chocolito” Gonzalez (39-0) who is like a mini-Mike Tyson, and Japanese flyweight Kazuto Ioka (14-0) who specializes in spectacular knockouts. After all, if the best truly fight the best, then it’s time these two went at it
“El Chocolatito,” is the current WBA light flyweight champion and former WBA miniumweight champion, and Kazuto is the current WBA super light flyweight champion and former WBC miniumweight Champion so much would be at stake.
Enter Amnat Ruenroeng
Fighting for the first time outside of his native Thailand, the 3-1 underdog and light-fisted Ruenroeng (13-0) who beat Rocky Fuentes for the vacant IBF title somehow in January 2014, somehow found a way to win a split decision against Ioka in Ioka’s home town of Osaka by the widely divergent scores of 119-108, 115-112, and 113-114.The judge who had it 119-108 was veteran Pawel Kardyni from Poland. Ruenroeng brought the fight to Ioka in the second half showing more aggression, speed, and sharp punching despite being deducted a point. The IBF flyweight title holder denied Ioka a third belt while at the same time successfully retaining his own crown.
Having served three jail terms for armed robbery; Amnat learned to box while in prison and went all the way to the national light-flyweight title in 2007. He was then granted early release for “good behavior and sporting accomplishments.” He then competed in the Beijing Olympics. The much older Thailander had beaten Kazuto on points in the King’s Cup amateur tournaments in 2008,
Thai fighters rarely fight outside of Thailand and when they do, they rarely do very well. But in this case, the Chonburi native went to his opponent’s home town in Japan and kept his crown. That was some accomplishment, though not as big as Sony Boy Jaro’s monster TKO upset of Thai legend Pongsaklek Wonjongkam in Chonburi in 2012.
As for any explosive showdown with Roman Gonzalez, that would now seem to involve WBC Flyweight Champion Akira Yaegashi
Adios Kazuto; bievenue Akira. Boxing is a fickle business.