Probellum announces Nietes vs. Ioka rematch

·2 min read

THE much-anticipated rematch between four-division world champion Donnie Nietes and current World Boxing Organization (WBO) super flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka is now official following an announcement by Probellum on June 1, 2022.

Nietes will challenge Ioka for the WBO super flyweight title on July 13 at the Ota City General Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan.

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

“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.”

In 2018, Nietes beat Ioka for the vacant WBO super flyweight strap by split decision in Macau.

After his win over Ioka, Nietes was mandated to defend his belt against fellow Pinoy Aston Palicte in a rematch. Nietes didn’t want to fight Palicte again and decided to relinquish his belt in the hopes of earning a fight against the top fighters in the division—Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman Gonzalez.

It proved to be the wrong decision as he failed to lure the stars in the super flyweight division and was left without a fight.

Nietes had a career resurgence and had a successful return to boxing in 2021 after a three-year hiatus. He totally outclassed Pablo Carillo and beat him via a lopsided unanimous decision. He fought fellow world-ranked Norbelto Jimenez and the fight ended in a split draw.

Nietes might be in the twilight of his career at 40 years old. However, Probellum president Richard Schaefer believes that Nietes still has a lot left in his tank.

“Donnie is a boxing legend and a sure-fire Hall of Fame inductee in the future. But his 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,” he said.

“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.”

Since their first meeting, the 33-year-old Ioka won his next three fights. He stopped Palicte in the 10th round to win the vacant WBO belt. He successfully defended his belt four times against the likes of Jeyvier Cintron, Kosei Tanaka, Francisco Rodriguez Jr. and Ryoji Fukunaga.

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

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