Kazuto Ioka vs. Fernando Martinez live updates: Martinez upsets Ioka, unifies IBF/ WBA super flyweight titles

Argentinian slugger Fernando Martinez spoiled the party in Tokyo by scoring a 12-round unanimous decision over the legendary Kazuto Ioka in their super flyweight unification fight on Sunday. The official scores were 120-108 (disgraceful judging), 117-111 and 116-112.

Martinez (17-0, 9 KOs) put forth an incredible offensive effort in the first half of the fight and held off Ioka, who used his experience to claw his way back. The visitor then produced the type of form needed in the championship rounds to secure the decision he was awarded.

Ioka was hurt in the opening seconds of round one and appeared to be in serious trouble. His head was snapped back by an assortment of power shots as Martinez sought the sensational early finish. That remained the pattern throughout the early sessions.

Slowly the tide began to turn as Martinez’s attack slowed. Calling on all his experience, Ioka targeted the body and drained his opponent’s resources with a cerebral and accurate assault. It looked like Ioka would pull off the dramatic comeback but unfortunately for the home fans, it was not to be.

Martinez dug deep in the championship rounds, winning both sessions with a mixture of aggressiveness and smart boxing. Ioka lost his timing and distance during a crucial period in the fight and surrendered his WBA title to the Argentinian fighter who entered the bout as IBF champion.

The 32-year-old Martinez scores the biggest win of his career to date and kicks open the door to a superfight with WBC and Ring Magazine counterpart Bam Rodriguez. The new unified champ boxed very well against a legendary fighter and he deserved the decision.

Ioka, 35, entered his 26th world title bout as a four-weight world champion. The Japanese hero is one of the finest fighters to emerge from his country and he is a lock for the Hall of Fame. He falls to 31-3-1 (16 KOs) and has nothing more to prove.

The Sporting News provided liver coverage, undercard results, and round-by-round scoring for the main event.

Kazuto Ioka vs. Fernando Martinez live updates, highlights, and commentary

Kazuto Ioka vs. Fernando Martinez: SN live scorecard

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Total
Ioka 9 9 9 9 9 10 10 10 10 10 9 9 113
Martinez 10 10 10 10 10 9 9 9 9 9 10 10 115

AND THE NEW UNIFIED IBF-WBA SUPER FLYWEIGHT CHAMPION… FERNANDO MARTINEZ!!! THE ARGENTINIAN STAR WINS BY SCORES OF 120-108 (DISGRACEFUL SCORING), 117-111 and 116-112.

Round 12: Big combination rocks Ioka. Both fighters are very tired. Nothing back from Ioka as we reach the last 90 seconds. Martinez switches lefty and scores well with a combination. Final round to Martinez.

SN Unofficial Scorecard: 10-9 Martinez (115-113 Martinez)

Round 11: Martinez opens up and nails the WBA champ to head and body. That was the visitor’s best assault in several rounds. Big right by Ioka. More success from Martinez, who is digging deep. Great body shots from Ioka. Double jab from Martinez, who has found a new lease of life. Strong finish to the round by the IBF champ.

SN Unofficial Scorecard: 10-9 Martinez (106-104 Martinez)

Round 10: Martinez has slowed down perceptibly in the second half and his attacks have been reduced to cameos. Multi-punch assault by the Argentinian but nothing effective. Jab from Ioka and two nice rights. Body shot from Ioka… and again. Three-punch salvo from Martinez, but his success was limited through the three minutes.

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SN Unofficial Scorecard: 10-9 Ioka (97-95 Martinez)

Round 9: Martinez tries to fire, but he’s missing again. Ioka is timing his offense and targets the body again. Good combination scores for Martinez. Ioka working the body almost exclusively. The Japanese star is working harder again and Martinez appears to be struggling with the pace.

SN Unofficial Scorecard: 10-9 Ioka (87-86 Martinez)

Round 8: Martinez’s attack has faded but he’s still dangerous. Stong combination by the Argentinian. Ioka fires back with a flurry. Big injection of pace and Martinez scores again. Terrific combination by Ioka at mid-ring. Left hook from Ioka and another combination. Martinez missing. Close round but the edge to Ioka.

SN Unofficial Scorecard:10-9 Ioka (77-75 Martinez)

Round 7: Martinez comes out blazing but he doesn’t have the same accuracy. Ioka works the jab, gets inside and goes downstairs again. Big assault from Martinez. BIG LEFT UPPERCUT FROM MARTINEZ! Two-fisted attack by Ioka sends the crowd into a frenzy. Left hook working wonders for Ioka again.HUGE SHOT lands for Martinez but he was outworked.

SN Unofficial Scorecard:10-9 Ioka (68-65 Martinez)

Round 6: Martinez missing a lot more and Ioka doing his best to counterpunch.  Ioka whacking the body and the IBF champ doesn’t like it. Again to the body. Martinez lands a two-piece to the head, but he’s slowed down. Ioka wins another exchange in close and has tightened up defensively. First round Ioka has won.

SN Unofficial Scorecard: 10-9 Ioka (59-55 Martinez)

Round 5: Martinez opens another round scoring heavily. Left hook rocks Ioka. The Japanese star’s punches seem so ineffective by comparison. Ioka absorbs more big shots at center ring, but he bravely fires back. Good body shot from Ioka scores.

SN Unofficial Scorecard: 10-9 Martinez (50-45 Martinez)

Round 4: Ioka catches another right hand. If the veteran champ is going to win this fight, he’ll have to come from behind to do it. Sharp flurry scores up top from Martinez… and another. Good body shot from Ioka. Brutal punches land from the Argentinian fighter at the end of the round.

SN Unofficial Scorecard: 10-9 Martinez (40-36 Martinez)

Round 3: Slower start to the round which suits Ioka. A MASSIVE RIGHT HAND from Martinez and a follow-up combination hurts the home fighter again. Ioka battles back gamely but his punches bounce off Martinez. Another solid combo from Martinez, who is having a field day. A body attack and a combination to the head forces Martinez back at the end of the round.

SN Unofficial Scorecard: 10-9 Martinez (30-27 Martinez)

Round 2: Fast start again from Martinez, who is having success with uppercuts at mid-range. The pace slows again and Ioka comes forward. Both fighters trade combinations at center ring. Intense action. Ioka still catching uppercuts and the shots are effective. HUGE RIGHT from Martinez. Ioka is too open right now.

SN Unofficial Scorecard: 10-9 Martinez (20-18 Martinez)

Round 1: Fast start from Martinez, who comes out blazing with a two-fisted attack. Ioka hurt already. Nice counter by Ioka and it is all-out war. Martinez backs up and may have been hurt to the body. Left hook from Ioka. Double jab from Martinez. Plenty of contact in an incredible round.

SN Unofficial Scorecard: 10-9 Martinez

We now switch to round-by-round coverage for the main event. It’s time!!! WBA super flyweight king Kazuto Ioka takes on IBF counterpart Fernando Martinez in Tokyo.

SEIYA TSUTSUMI IMPROVES TO 11-0-2 (7 KOs) AFTER POSTING A BRUTAL FOURTH-ROUND TKO AGAINST THAILAND’S WEERAWAT NOOLAE.

7:37 p.m. JST/ 6:37 a.m. Predictably the fight is over in round four. Two more knockdowns force the referee to call the fight off. Excellent performance from Tsutsumi, who was aggressive, accurate and very imaginative with his offense.

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7:34 p.m. JST/ 6:34 a.m. Tsutsumi cuts the ring down in the third and FLOORS HIS MAN with a ferocious left hook to the body. Noolae gets up but he’s in trouble. Another two-fisted attack, punctuated by a right to the body, has him DOWN AGAIN! Bell saves Noolae!

7:30 p.m. JST/ 6:30 a.m. ET: We’re through two rounds and Tsutsumi is applying plenty of pressure. Noolae boxing cleverly on the back foot; jabbing and maintaining distance. The visitor is staying out of trouble but he won’t win rounds this way.

7:14 p.m. JST/ 6:14 a.m. ET: The final undercard attraction sees unbeaten prospect Seiya Tsutsumi and Thailand’s Weerawat Noolae collide at super bantamweight. This fight will be contested over 10 rounds.

THE WINNER IS KANTARO JURI VIA EIGHT-ROUND UNANIMOUS DECISION. THIS WAS A LEARNING CURVE FIGHT FOR THE 28-YEAR-OLD LEFTY WHO WAS DECKED BY A HUGE LEFT HAND IN ROUND FOUR. HE IMPROVES TO 7-0-1 (2 KOs).

7:08 p.m. JST/ 6:08 a.m. ET: It’s all over and we go the full eight-round distance. Strong closing round from Juri, who landed an array of power shots and forced Parlop backward for the full three minutes.

7:04 p.m. JST/ 6:04 a.m. ET: Despite the significant scare, Juri has regained control and should be ahead entering the eighth and final round. Parlop knows he can hurt his man and needs the KO now!

6:52 p.m. JST/ 5:48 a.m. ET: WOW!!! DOWN GOES JURI IN ROUND 4 FROM A HUGE LEFT TO THE CHIN. He’s badly hurt but survives the round. This could be a turning point. The knockdown from Parlop was CONCUSSIVE!

6:48 p.m. JST/ 5:48 a.m. ET: Juri is controlling the action but has been cut around the left eye following a clash of heads in the third.

6:41 p.m. JST/ 5:41 a.m. ET: Great opening round for Juri, who went through the gears and scored with one memorable left uppercut to the chin. Parlop, 41, backed up and showed his experience by avoiding some big assaults.

6:33 p.m. JST/ 5:33 a.m. ET: Fight number five is a super flyweight bout between local prospect Kantaro Juri and veteran Thai fighter Pai Parlop.

THE WINNER BY EIGHT-ROUND UNANIMOUS DECISION IS YUDAI MURAKAMI, WHO IMPROVES TO 5-2. ICHIMICHI DROPS TO 8-2-1.

6:24 p.m. JST/ 5:24 a.m. ET: We’re in the eighth and final round and Murakami has won most of these rounds. With that said, the 39-year-old Ichimichi has put forth a spirited effort.

6:14 p.m. JST/ 5:14 a.m. ET: A BIG RIGHT HAND LANDS FLUSH FROM ICHIMICHI IN ROUND FIVE. Murakami takes it well, but he wouldn’t want to take too many of those.

6:10 p.m. JST/ 5:10 a.m. ET: We’re four rounds in and Murakami has everything his own way. He’s controlling distance, choosing the correct times to punch, and then quickly pivoting out of range. All four rounds have gone to the younger man.

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5:59 p.m. JST/ 4:59 a.m. ET: Nice opening round from Murakami, who scored well with the left hand to head and body. Ichimichi, 39, is a step behind in terms of speed and doing a lot of catching already.

5:39 p.m. JST/ 4:39 a.m. ET: The fourth bout on the card is an all-Japanese lightweight duel between southpaw Yudai Murakami and Hiroshi Ichimichi.

SUPER LIGHTWEIGHT STAR SHUN SEKINE IMPROVES TO 11-1-1 (9 KOs) WITH A THIRD-ROUND TKO OF CHAIYARAT SAWANSODA. EASY WORK!

5:31 p.m. JST/ 4:31 a.m. ET: DOWN GOES SAWANSODA FROM A BARRAGE OF BLOWS EARLY IN ROUND THREE. He’s up, but another quick two-piece combination from Sekine puts the Thai fighter down again and the bout is waved off.

5:28 p.m. JST/ 4:28 a.m. ET: Sawansoda under heavy pressure in round two and hurt numerous times to the body. This looks like a workout for the 10-1-1 Sekine, who is in against a journeyman here.

5:19 p.m. JST/ 4:19 a.m. ET: We switch to the super lightweight division. Local fighter Shun
Sekine takes on Thailand’s Chaiyarat Sawansoda.

5:16 p.m. JST/ 4:16a.m. ET: WBA super flyweight champ Kazuto Ioka enters the arena and looks all business ahead of his unification battle with IBF titleholder Fernando Martinez.

AOI YOKOHAMA WINS HIS PROFESSIONAL DEBUT IN SPECTACULAR STYLE, HALTING CHINA’S HAO WANG EARLY IN ROUND TWO.

5:09 p.m. JST/ 4:09 a.m. ET: IT’S ALL OVER IN ROUND TWO. Yokohama closes the show with a spectacular string of left hands to the head. This kid is one to watch!

5:08 p.m. JST/ 4:08 a.m. ET: Terrific first professional round for Yokohama, who looks like a terrific little fighter. The 22-year-old landed several solid power shots before decking Wang with a right hand late in the first.

4:53 p.m. JST/ 3:53 a.m. ET: Next up is a bantamweight bout between pro debutant Hao Wang and China’s Aoi Yokoyama.

4:49 p.m. JST/ 3:49 a.m. ET: The IBF super flyweight champ Fernando Martinez enters the arena and is all smiles. The undefeated Argentinian takes on WBA counterpart Kazuto Ioka in the main event.

TAIGO KATO IMPROVES TO 6-2 (2 KOs) WITH A UNANIMOUS DECISION WIN OVER CHINA’S SHI DONG.

4:44 p.m. JST/ 3:44 a.m. ET: We enter the sixth and final round. Kato would appear to be comfortably ahead on points. The Japanese fighter has landed most of the effective punches and has hurt Dong to the body more than once.

4:25 p.m. JST/ 3:25 a.m. ET: The first fight is underway and it’s a welterweight contest between local fighter Taiga Kato and China’s Shi Dong.

2:45 p.m. JST/ 1:45 a.m. ET: Hello and welcome to The Sporting News’ live coverage of the Kazuto Ioka vs. Fernando Martinez super flyweight unification fight. We’re in the countdown to the showdown!!!

Kazuto Ioka vs. Fernando Martinez undercard

  • Fernando Martinez def. Kazuto Ioka via UD 12 (120-108, 117-111, 116-112) for the IBF/ WBA super flyweight world titles
  • Seiya Tsutsumi def. Weerawat Noolae via TKO 4; Super Bantamweight
  • Shun Sekine def. Chaiyarat Sawansoda via TKO 3; Super Lightweight
  • Yudai Murakami def. Hiro Ichimichi via UD 8; Lightweight
  • Taiga Kato def. Shi Dong via UD 6; Welterweight
  • Kantaro Juri def. Phai Pharob via UD 8; Super Flyweight
  • Aoi Yokoyama def. Hao Wang via TKO 2; Bantamweight

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