By: Nick Skok
This past weekend Kazuto Ioka stole the show at Super Fly 3 from The Forum in Los Angeles. The dominating performance was all the more surprising to critics who pointed to his year and a half (retirement) layoff from action while his opponent McWilliams Arroyo was coming off an impressive win at the previous Super Fly card.
After the fight Ioka spoke to members of the Japanese media. Some of what he had to say is provided below, translated by No Sparring.
“I felt I was on a great stage to perform on [at Super Fly] and concluded that I could’ve done even better with my performance.”
“I would’ve preferred to follow up my knockdown with additional pressure to finish him off but the bell rang. The next round Arroyo became more aggressive and it became a tough fight.”
“[My future] isn’t just dependent on what I want, but also my team. I hope to be a guy that everyone roots for and feels proud of me. I think I was able to leave a little bit of the “Kazuto Ioka” name in America for the fans.”
“To always fight with strong boxers has been on my mind since I was in Japan, and not just because I wanted to fight in America. I came to America to fight with highly ranked fighters who are at least equal to my strength. I think I’m standing on a great starting line now and will be a top fighter in the super fly division and continue to defeat others.”
“I could’ve done better on both defense and offense. I got hit by some unnecessary shots and couldn’t connect with some punches on a final push. Arroyo is experienced and has great techniques, so he was able to know where to hit me and make me look bad. I’m surprised how much my face changed [with the bruises] but I knew his aim was on point at certain moments during the fight where he could create this kind of damage.”
Look for Ioka to return for either a domestic fight on or near New Years Eve and/or to return on the next HBO installment of Super Fly.
Contact Nick Skok on Twitter @NoSparring