Nietes wants to dominate Ioka in Japan rematch

·2 min read

FOUR-DIVISION world champion Donnie Nietes is looking to dominate World Boxing Organization (WBO) super flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka in their rematch on July 13, 2022 in Japan.

“We need to win every round so that there won’t be any hometown decision,” Nietes’ coach Edmund Villamor told SunStar Cebu.

“If there’s a chance, we’ll go for the knockout. But it’ll be hard because we know that he’ll run.”

Nietes, 39, is the No. 1 ranked super flyweight by the WBO and will be fighting Ioka as a mandatory challenger. He’s also ranked No. 3 by the World Boxing Association (WBA), No. 4 by the World Boxing Council (WBC) and No. 9 by The Ring Magazine.

Nietes fought Kazuto Ioka for the vacant WBO super flyweight strap in 2018. Nietes beat Ioka by split decision.

Nietes was supposed to defend his belt with a rematch against fellow Pinoy Aston Palicte. Nietes, however, opted to vacate his belt and seek better opportunities. That decision didn’t go well for Nietes as he was sidelined for almost three years and didn’t get an offer to fight against the division’s elite.

Nietes returned to action in 2021 and won by unanimous decision over Pablo Carillo. He settled for a split draw with Norbelto Jimenez later in 2021.

Because of Nietes’ decision to vacate the belt, Ioka earned the opportunity to face Palicte for the vacant WBO belt in 2019. He stopped Palicte in 10 rounds. Ioka, 33, has successfully defended his belt four times beating challengers Jeyvier Cintron, Kosei Tanaka, Francisco Rodriguez Jr. and Ryoji Fukunaga.

Nietes has been sparring with Esneth Domingo, former world title challenger Jeo Santisima and his younger brother Alex Santisima at the Villamor Boxing Gym in Mandaue City in preparation for Ioka.

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

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