The first of 3 world title fights televised in Japan today saw WBA Light Flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka (14-0, 9) given one of his toughest bouts to date, as he took on Nicaraguan puncher Felix Alvarado (18-1, 15).
Although both men are, usually, very different fighters with Alvarado being an aggressive fighter who backs opponents up then quickly breaks them down whilst Ioka is a pure boxer-puncher they gelled perfectly here. Alvarado as everyone expected came forward though Ioka, for the most part, decided to stand his ground and fight fire with fire.
From the first round on wards the men stood in front of each other with Alvarado trying to take Ioka's head off with every shot. Ioka showed his intelligence and boxing ability by blocking and slipping before landing counters.
The fight started competitive with Alvarado having plenty of success as he rushed Ioka though as the fight went on Ioka began to time Alvarado more and more whilst also swelling his left eye and landing harder cleaner punches. It had been close through 4 rounds though through the middle stretch of the bout Ioka totally took over as Alvarado's lack of experience cost him dearly.
By round 9 Ioka had put the close start behind him and totally taken over. The steam had gone from Alvarado's attacks and his punches, which had been snappy early on were now pushed and slow, they were easier to counter and Ioka was in total control despite standing at close range to his Nicaraguan challenger.
With the champion dominating the middle and late rounds it was no shock that he retained his title comfortably on the scorecards, well 2 of them anyway with scores of 119-109, though I'm not sure what Sergio Caiz was watching scoring it 115-113 for Ioka who was in charge for 8 or 9 rounds of the 12.