Sunday, June 16, 2024  |



Kazuto Ioka-Donnie Nietes rematch for the WBO 115-lb. belt set for July 13 in Tokyo

Donnie Nietes takes the action to Kazuto Ioka during their first WBO-pound title bout, which took place on December 31, 2018 in Macau. Photo by Kevin Lee/Getty Images
Fighters Network

News reached The Ring that the rumored rematch between WBO junior bantamweight titleholder Kazuto Ioka and fellow four-division titleholder Donnie Nietes will officially take place at the Ota-City Gymnasium in Tokyo on July 13.

The two previously fought in December 2018. On that occasion, Nietes edged matters by 12-round split decision to claim the WBO 115-pound title.

Curiously, Nietes vacated the title and didn’t fight for 28 months following that close victory. Since returning, he has gone 1-0-1.

Ioka, who is rated No. 3 by The Ring at 115 pounds, won the vacant title with a 10th-round stoppage of Aston Palicte in June 2019. Since then, the 33-year-old Japanese star has made four successful title defenses.

Ioka (28-2, 15 knockouts), who previously claimed world titles at strawweight, junior flyweight and flyweight, holds wins over Akira Yaegashi (UD 12), Felix Alvarado (UD 12) and Kosei Tanaka (TKO 8).

“Three years ago, I lost to Nietes in Macau,” Ioka told The Ring. “After that, things went my way with unique situations and encounters, which allowed me to become a four-division champion.

“I have lost two times in my career and one is to him. This opportunity to do a mandatory fight against Nietes makes me feel as though this encounter was given for me to get my revenge.”

Nietes (43-1-6, 23 KOs), who is rated No. 9 at 115-pounds, also collected titles at 105, 108, 112 and 115 pounds. The 40-year-old Filipino has beaten Francisco Rodriguez Jr. (UD 12), Raul Garcia (RTD 5) and Juan Carlos Raveco (KO 7).


Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him on