‘Ahas’ Nietes faces Ioka in world title rematch

·2 min read

AFTER losing its last boxing world champion last weekend, the Philippines’ Donnie Nietes could turn things around for the country as he guns for a world title today.

The 40-year-old Nietes challenges World Boxing Organization (WBO) super flyweight titleholder Kazuto Ioka in a rematch at the Ota-City General Gymnasium in Japan.

Nietes, a four-division world champion, could bring the Philippines back on the map with a win over Ioka. Despite the huge responsibility of being the Philippines’ hope, Nietes doesn’t feel any pressure at all.

“I don’t feel any pressure at all. I won’t let this fight put pressure on me. I’ll use this as added inspiration,” Nietes told SunStar Cebu.

The Philippines lost its last world champion after Mark Magsayo, Nietes’ former ALA Gym teammate, lost his World Boxing Council featherweight belt after a split decision defeat against Rey Vargas on July 10 in San Antonio, Texas.

In 2018, Nietes beat Ioka by a split decision in Macau to claim the vacant WBO super flyweight belt.

Nietes believes that Ioka today is still the same Ioka that he beat four years ago.

“I think nothing has changed,” said Nietes. “I’ll do the same thing I did with him the last time. I just have to follow through.”

Ioka has won five straight fights since losing to Neites. He also won the belt that Nietes vacated by stopping Aston Palicte in 10 rounds. He successfully defended his belt against Jeyvier Cintron, three-division world champion Kosei Tanaka, former two-belt world champion Francisco Rodriguez Jr. and Ryoji Fukunaga.

Nietes, on the other hand, fought just twice after his win over Ioka after a long hiatus. He totally outclassed Pablo Carrillo by unanimous decision and settled to a split draw with Norbelto Jimenez last year.

“I could fight either aggressively or box him and score points, depending on which style he’ll be having a hard time with. I’ll also see what new style he’ll be using and adjust from there,” said Nietes.

Nietes tipped the scales at 114.5 pounds, while the 33-year-old Ioka weighed in at 115.8 pounds.

Nietes is 43-1-6 with 23 knockouts, while Ioka is 28-2 with 15 knockouts.

Three other Pinoy warriors are seeing action in the same show—former world title challengers Froilan Saludar, Presco Carcosia and Jhon Gimeno. Saludar (32-5-1, 22 KOs) faces off with former world champion Daigo Higa (17-2-1, 17 KOs); Carcosia (10-1-1, 9 KOs) locks horns with promising Japanese prospect Musashi Mori (12-1, 7 KOs); and Gimeno (23-13-1, 13 KOs) slugs it out with former amatuer standout Hayato Tsutsumi in the latter’s pro debut.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting