17 months ago, Kazuto Ioka fought and then shortly after, announced a surprise retirement. He’d won world titles in three different weight classes and achieved his dreams, he said. But he attended the “Superfly 2” card in February of this year, and the hunger to fight again came back.
On Saturday at the Forum in Inglewood, California, he returned, and he looked good, beating tough contender McWilliams Arroyo by convincing decision over 10 rounds.
The judges had it 97-92, 97-92, and 99-90, all for Ioka, who won the WBC silver super flyweight title with the victory. BLH had it 97-92 for Ioka.
Arroyo (17-4, 14 KO) started a bit slow against Ioka (23-1, 13 KO), probably losing the first two rounds, but he was coming on well in the third before he was caught with a clean right hand that knocked him down late in that frame.
For much of the bout, it was simply the consistent attack, aided by strong body work, of Japan’s Ioka that carried the action. Ioka was fighting outside of the United States for the first time, and for the first time without his father in his corner, but he looked sharp after a long layoff, outboxing and outfighting Arroyo, who was game as always but simply a bit outclassed in this one.
Ioka landed 254 of 797 (32%) of his total punches, and 157 of 481 (33%) of his power shots. Arroyo landed 159 of 715 (22%) of his total punches, and 106 of 373 (28%) power shots. Ioka outlanded Arroyo significantly to the body, 101 to 19.