Ioka Dominates Nietes In Return Fight, Wins By Commanding Unanimous Decision
Earlier today in Tokyo, Japan, reigning WBO junior-bantamweight champion Kazuto Ioka scored a technically brilliant, very wide 12 round unanimous decision win over Donnie Nietes. These two had met before, with Filipino Nietes prevailing by way of a split decision back in 2018. This time it was a totally different fight, as Ioka was in almost complete command throughout. The wide scores of 120-108, 118-110 and 117-111 indicate how complete Ioka’s winning performance really was.
Ioka is now 29-2(15). Nietes, who was attempting to bring a world title back to the currently title-less Philippines, falls to 43-2-6(23).
Today’s fight was very much one for the purists, with the technically brilliant Ioka boxing, well, brilliantly all the way. Nietes wasn’t aggressive enough, throwing and landing only the occasional good shot, such as his uppercut. Ioka jabbed well throughout the predominantly long range fight. There were no real thrills, nor was there an especially standout round, but Ioka’s class was something to see. Nietes was cut quite badly over the left eye, this in the 10th round.
40 year old Nietes fought a good defensive fight but this was not enough to see him take back the title he had previously vacated. Ioka knew he had the fight in the bag and he boxed sensibly and cleverly in the final rounds. The result was never in doubt. Ioka says he now wishes to try and unify the 115 pound belts, and that could mean we get to see the Japanese star engage in big fights with Juan Francisco Estrada, Fernando Martinez and/or Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez.
At age 33, Ioka looks to be as good as he ever has. Again, we didn’t get a classic fight today but we did see some superb boxing from a modern day master. Ioka really will take some beating. His only other career loss came way back in May of 2014, when Ioka, in his 15th pro fight, lost a split decision to Amnat Ruenroeng. Since the split decision loss to Nietes, Ioka has now won six in a row. Today’s win marked Ioka’s fifth retention of his WBO belt.