FILIPINO fighter Aston “Mighty” Palicte fell short in his bid for the World Boxing Organization super flyweight title after absorbing a stoppage loss in the 10th round of his championship fight with Japanese Kazuto Ioka on Wednesday night in Chiba, Japan.

It was a decision that 28-year-old Palicte said he does not agree with and lament, but nonetheless accepts and something he is bent on using as motivation and lesson moving forward.

“The way I see it, the decision by the referee to stop the fight was premature,” said Mr. Palicte following the fight held at the Makuhari Messe Convention Center.

“But it is okay. That is how boxing goes. Sometimes you don’t get the breaks you want,” he added.

Mr. Palicte had a solid start against Mr. Ioka, taking the fight to his opponent and connecting with solid blows.

The Japanese, however, would pick things up as the fight progressed, particularly in the eighth round where he was able to exact himself on the Filipino, who at that point showed signs of slowing down.

Mr. Ioka continued to put pressure on Mr. Palicte in the succeeding rounds.

He was able to land a solid right to the face of Mr. Palicte midway into the 10th round, a blow that proved to be telling as the latter wobbled after it.

Mr. Ioka followed it up with more punishing blows, prompting the referee to stop the fight at the 1:15 mark of the round.

The win was huge for Mr. Ioka (23-2), who notched his fourth division world title, the first Japanese in history to do so. It was also a bounced back win for him after suffering a split decision loss to erstwhile WBO super flyweight champion Donnie Nietes of the Philippines in December.

For Mr. Palicte (25-3-1), the loss marked the second time that he has failed to lay his hands on the WBO super flyweight belt following his split draw with Mr. Nietes in September last year.

He was undeterred by it, however, looking to bounce back from this latest setback and still go for his championship dreams.

“I will rest for few months and regroup. My team will talk about our plans. It’s time to move on from this,” Mr. Palicte said. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo