“Writing about Vladimir Nabokov, Martin Amis divides the author’s endowments into those attributable to genius and those attributable to craft. For Amis, genius is “a God-given altitude of perception and articulacy,” while talent is “technique, and all the skills that come under the heading of Craft.” Does Ioka have the athletic genius’s altitude of perception and articulacy? His brain certainly seems to find solutions faster than most. While Tanaka put his hands on Ioka, he rarely hit him cleanly. Instead, Ioka would catch punches on his guard, with his gloves, his elbows, his forearms, making minuscule adjustments to their placement to deny even the punches that thudded home their full effect. The other techniques comprising Ioka’s defense, the articulacy of those slips, steps, and rolls, pivots, parries, and pulls, might seem the product of technique and therefore of talent. But the intuition in them—their naturalness—speaks to a physical intelligence present long before repetition harnessed it.”
Read Strong Feelings: Kazuto Ioka Outclasses Kosei Tanaka on Hannibal Boxing.