Negrense Nietes faces Ioka anew for WBO world title

Posted by watchmen
July 13, 2022
Posted in SPORTS

By Adrian Stewart Co

Negrense Donnie Nietes lands a punch against Japanese Kazuto Ioka during their first encounter on December 31, 2018. (GETTY IMAGES)

Negrense boxer Donnie Nietes aims to reclaim the World Boxing Organization (WBO) world super flyweight belt in his rematch with Japanese Kazuto Ioka tonight at the Ota City General Gymnasium in Japan.

The Murcia, Negros Occidental-native is raring to become the only Filipino world boxing champion so far following the recent dethronements of Nonito Donaire Jr., Rene Mark Cuarto and Mark Magsayo.

“This was the fight I wanted the most and I am incredibly eager to win back my world title,” Nietes said. “I have been in training since February for this fight but I really stepped up my levels when I knew it was confirmed last month.”

“This rematch makes me excited and when I vacated the title in 2018 it was always in my mind that I would, one day, win it back. On July 13, that dream will become a reality,” he added.

The 40-year-old Nietes has actually defeated Ioka via split decision last December 31, 2018 for the same world title but the Negrense fighter opted to vacate the belt the next month as his mandatory challenger was a fellow Negrense Aston Palicte.

Nietes has been inactive from boxing since then before returning back to action in April last year with a unanimous decision win over Pablo Carillo before settling for a split draw against Norbelto Jimenez last December.

“Donnie’s career is far from over, there is plenty left in the tank and when he travels to Japan and rips the world title from Kazuto Ioka on July 13, it will rank as the greatest victory of his remarkable career,” said Richard Schaefer, president of Probellum.

“What a story it would be for Nietes to recapture the title he first won almost four years ago, and to achieve that in a great champion’s backyard, would make it even more special,” he added.

Ioka, meanwhile, managed to regain the WBO super flyweight belt with a TKO win over Palicte in June, 2019. The Japanese fighter has since defended it four times against Jeyvier Cintron, Kosei Tanaka, Francisco Rodriguez Jr. and Ryoji Fukunaga.

Nietes will be entering the match with a 43-1-6 win-loss-draw ring record, including 23 stoppage victories, while the 33-year-old Ioka has 28-2-0 boxing slate, with 15 knockout victories./ASC, WDJ

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