One of the best fighters in the world today, Kazuto Ioka will be in action tomorrow at 8 am ET in Tokyo Japan, when he will fight a rematch with Donnie Nietes in defence of his WBO junior bantamweight title. Very much a fight to watch, this one could be a real mid-week treat. Ioka, 28-2(15) lost a tough split decision against Filipino Nietes back in 2018, on New Year’s Eve. Both men wish to improve on their initial performance.
And Nietes, 43-1-6(23) has the added motivation to bring a world title back to the Philippines, a proud fighting country that currently finds itself without a single world champion. Nietes, who spoke with RingTV.com, says he doesn’t feel any added pressure.
“It motivates me a lot but I just don’t give pressure to myself,” the 40 year old Nietes said. “Boxing is a sports game, I just need to give my very best to be champion again. It will be a reward for myself and the Philippines as well.”
Nietes, who has never been stopped, has ruled at minimumweight, light-flyweight, flyweight and super-flyweight, and now he wants to repeat his win over Ioka and win back the WBO title he vacated. But Ioka will really take some beating. The 33 year old has won five fights in a row since losing to Nietes, and Ioka has looked impressive in these fights. Having said that, Ioka does take more punches now compared to when he was younger, this making his fights all the more entertaining. We could get a great action fight tomorrow.
Ioka should be a bigger star than he is, yet his constant fighting in his homeland of Japan (barring one fight in America, this in 2018, in California) has seen to it that he is a fighter only hardcore fans are really aware of outside of Japan, where he is a genuine star. The first Nietes-Ioka fight took place in Macau, and this time Ioka will have home advantage.
Will it be a case of repeat or revenge tomorrow? Fans who do take the time to tune in for this one will likely be rewarded with a very good fight. Ioka has seldom been in a dull affair. The pick here is for Ioka to pull out a close, entertaining decision win.