Fernando Martinez defeats Kazuto Ioka by unanimous decision in Japan

FERNANDO Martinez is now the unified WBA and IBF super-flyweight titleholder following a thrilling war of attrition in Tokyo, Japan. The scores were announced as 116-112, 117-111 and 120-108, crowning Martinez the winner by unanimous decision.

It was an outstanding 115-pound battle between two great fighters, befitting of a unification bout. The 120-108 card posted by Eduardo Hernandez Sr seemed extremely dismissive of Ioka’s efforts, but the right man got the nod.

Martinez started fast and managed to maintain the pace, apart from a few slower rounds, mostly due to Ioka’s relentless body attack. It was a terrific pace, considering Martinez, 17-0 (9 KOs), is 32.

Ioka, 36, is four years older and falls to 31-3-1 (16 KOs). Having previously retired, Ioka may consider returning to the wilderness as an esteemed four-division world champion.

Marcos Maidana was celebrating in the ring with the away fighter, whom he promotes. Martinez may now chase down another unification against WBC super-flyweight champion Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez, who defeated Juan Francisco Estrada last weekend. However, they are expected to rematch, which could leave Martinez looking elsewhere for a dance partner.

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