Kazuto Ioka blasts Josber Perez with seventh-round stoppage to retain WBA super flyweight title

Kazuto Ioka (31-2-1, 16 KOs) made a successful first defense of his WBA super flyweight title against two time world title challenger Josber Perez (20-4, 18 KOs) tonight at the Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan. 

Ioka showed his intent in the opening round, landing a big left in the first minute and Perez was caught with another left hook moments later. 

The second and third round saw a more even affair with Perez having some success. However, Ioka took firm charge in the fourth. Perez hit the canvas twice in the fifth, he took a knee after a gluttony of head and body shots. Moments later, Ioka landed a straight right hand sending the Venezuelan into the ropes and onto the canvas. Perez survived the sixth round but was visually hurt, Ioka was waiting for his moment. 

Perez landed a big uppercut at the beginning of the seventh, and he landed a straight right hand to the head moments later in a strong opening to the round for the Venezuelan. However, Ioka closed the show with Perez on the ropes a minute later. He landed a good shot to the body followed by a right hand that sent Perez to the canvas on his knees. He did not make the count, giving Ioka his first knockout victory in three years. 

Ioka made it no secret that he wanted to make a unification fight with WBC belt holder Juan Francisco Estrada for the traditional Japanese New Year’s Eve boxing event in the Japanese capital, Tokyo. Estrada hasn’t graced the ring for over a year, his last fight was a trilogy with Roman Gonzalez in Glendale, Arizona. 

The WBO title at 115 pounds will be contested by Kosei Tanaka and Christian Bacasegua in Tokyo on February 24. The IBF portion of the super flyweight division is currently occupied by undefeated Argentine Fernando Martinez.