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Published: Monday December 31, 2012 MYT 9:26:00 PM

Ioka becomes new WBA light-flyweight champion

OSAKA, Japan: Japan's Kazuto Ioka overwhelmed Jose Rodriguez of Mexico by a technical knockout victory in the sixth round to take the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) light-flyweight title on Monday.

Ioka, former WBC strawweight and WBA minimumweight champion, knocked down Rodriguez in the first round with a left hook to the body.

He sent him to the floor twice more in the sixth round, with the referee stopping the fight at two minutes 50 seconds, after the second knock-down.

With his victory, 23-year-old Ioka, who is ranked second in the WBA, became the fastest Japanese boxer to win two world titles in different categories, stretching his unbeaten record to 11 wins, including seven KOs.

"I don't feel that I really did it, but I'm very happy that I did," said Ioka.

"I want to prove that hard work will make your dream come true," he added.

Rodriguez, also 23 and ranked fifth, now has 28 wins, including 17 KOs and two defeats.-AFP

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