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NIETES TO FACE IOKA FOR WBO SUPERFLY BELT IN MACAU ON DEC. 31


PhilBoxing.com




PANAMA CITY ? In a battle of three world division world champions, longest reigning Filipino world champion Donnie 'Ahas' Nietes will face Kazuto Ioka of Japan on Dec. 31 in Macau for the vacant WBO world super flyweight title, the proposed fight has been unanimously approved here today by the WBO executive committee during the Ratings discussion on the third and final day of the ongoing 31st WBO Annual Convention held at the iconic El Panama Hotel.

Nietes, 36, ranked No. 1 by the WBO in the super flyweight division, fought No. 2 ranked fellow Filipino Aston Palicte to a controversial draw last Sep. 8 at The Forum in Inglewood, California on the 'Superfly 3' card with many saw Nietes winning the contest. Ioka, 29, ranked No. 3 by the WBO in their latest rankings, also fought on the same card and dominated two-time world title challenger McWilliams Arroyo of Puerto Rico to win by unanimous decision.

Ioka's matchmaker Joe Koizumi who said he had already an agreement with Nietes' promoter Michael Aldeguer for the Nietes-Ioka fight, requested the Ratings Committee to approve the fight to the objection of Guy Taylor of Roy Jones Promotions, the promoter of Palicte. Taylor wanted Palicte to have an immediate rematch with Nietes. The Committee however voted to approve the Nietes-Ioka fight considering that there is no negotiations going on for the Nietes-Palicte rematch. WBO president Francisco 'Paco' Valcarcel who said he saw the Nietes-Palicte decision as 'highly controversial', told Taylor to pick a fight for Palicte among the top 15 ranked contenders with the winner going to face the winner of the Nietes-Ioka next.

The Nietes-Ioka world championship fight is expected to be a highly-anticipated and mouth-watering matchup with the winner joining a select group of elite fighters to win world title belts in four divisions.

Nietes (41-1-5, 23KOs) first won his world title against Pornsawan Porpramook of Thailand on Sep. 30, 2007 in Cebu for the WBO minimumweight and defended it four times before capturing the WBO world light flyweight title against Ramon Garcia Hirales of Mexico on Oct. 8, 2011 in Bacolod City. Nietes defended the WBO light flyweight belt nine times before giving it up in September, 2016 to move up in weight. Nietes went on to capture the IBF world flyweight title against Komgrich Nantapech of Thailand on April 29, 2017 in Cebu and defended it once against Carlos Reveco of Argentina on Feb. 24, 2018 before again moving up in weight to face Palicte for the vacant WBO super flyweight title last Sep. 8. Nietes's only blot in his career was a split decision loss to Indonesian Angky Angkotta in 2004 at Angkotta's backyard in Jakarta.

Ioka (23-1-0, 13KOs) meanwhile, won his first world title on his 7th professional fight against Oleydong Sithsamerchai of Thailand on Feb. 11, 2017 for the WBC minimumweight and defended three times the last one was a unification fight against WBA champion and compatriot Akira Yaegashi on June 20, 2012 in Osaka, Japan. He then captured the WBA light flyweight title against Jose Alfredo Rodriguez of Mexico on Dec. 31, 2012 in Osaka and defended it four times. He went on to win the WBA world flyweight title against Juan Carlos Reveco of Argentina on April 22, 2016 also in his hometown Osaka and defended it three times before giving it up to campaign in the superfly division. Ioka's only defeat was against former world champion Amnat Ruenroeng of Thailand on May 7, 2014.


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