Kazuto Ioka vs Donnie Nietes Preview July 13th, 2022
WBO Super Flyweight Champion Kazuto Ioka of Japan will be defending the belt for the fifth time when he takes on four division world champion Donnie Nietes of the Philippines in a rematch this Wednesday, July 13th. The 12-rounder from Tokyo will be broadcast live in Japan at 9pm (8am EST) on the Tokyo Broadcasting System. Ioka last fought in December when he beat Ryoji Fukunaga by unanimous decision while Nietes last boxed in December also when he fought to a 10-round draw with Norberlto Jiminez.
Ioka vs Nietes Betting Odds
- Donnie Nietes +300
- Kazuto Ioka -400
The 33-year-old Ioka of Osaka carries a record of 28-2 with 15 Ko’s. He dropped a split decision to Donnie Nietes on New Year’s Eve in 2018 in his first shot at the vacant WBO Super Flyweight Title and also lost a split decision to Amnat Ruenroeng for the IBF Flyweight Title in 2014 for his two career losses. He won the vacant Japanese Light Flyweight Crown in his sixth pro fight and then won the WBC Minimumweight Belt in his next outing when he stopped Kittipong Jaigrajang in the fifth round.
Ioka defended the Japanese Flyweight Belt three times and added the WBA Minimumweight Title in his third defense with a unanimous decision over Akira Yaegashi. He then took the WBA Light Flyweight Crown on New Year’s Eve 2012 by stopping Jose Rodriguez in the sixth round. He defended it nine times including wins over Juan Carlos Reveco (twice), Roberto Domingo Sosa, Keyvin Lara and Nare Yianleang. Ioka moved up to super flyweight in September, 2018 and captured the WBC Silver Title with a 10-round unanimous decision over McWilliams Arroyo.
Ioka won the vacant WBO Super Flyweight Title with a 10th-round stoppage of Aston Palicte of the Philippines in June, 2019. This gave him a world title in four different weight classes at minimumweight, light flyweight, flyweight and super flyweight and he’s the only Japanese boxer to achieve the feat. He defended the Super Flyweight Title against Jeyvier Cintron by unanimous decision on New Year’s Eve 2019 and stopped fellow countryman Kosei Tanaka in the eighth round on New Year’s Eve 2020 before beating Francisco Rodriguez and then Fukunaga, both by unanimous decision.
Ioka stands 5-feet-5-inches tall with a 65.5-inch reach and is one of Japan’s top boxers. However, he’s not as well known outside of Asia as fellow countrymen such as Ryota Murata and Naoya Inoue. He’s boxed 276 rounds since turning pro in 2009 and isn’t really a power puncher with a current knockout ratio of 50 per cent. Ioka also owns a solid chin and is a world class boxer on all levels.
The 40-year-old Nietes has also won titles in four weight divisions as a pro and has been beaten just once in his career. He will climb into the ring with an impressive record of 43-1-6 with 23 Kos. His lone defeat came at the hands of Angky Angkotta by way of a 10-round split decision back in 2004. He’s also fought draws with Jiminez, Aston Palicte, Moises Fuentes, Greg Mangan, Carlo Besares and Nino Suelo over the years.
He also has average power in his fists with a current knockout ratio of 46 per cent. His biggest wins have been against Ioka, Juan Carlos Reveco, Edgar Sosa, Raul Garcia, Carlos Velarde, Manuel Vargas and Erik Ramirez. Nietes was also the WBO Minimumweight Champion from September of 2007 to August, 2010 and defended it four times. He then defended his Light Flyweight Title nine times over a five-year span.
Nietes turned pro in 2003 and has fought 378 rounds since. He stands 5-feet-3-inches tall and has a reach of 65.5 inches which means he gives up two inches in height to Ioka. He’s basically had a hall of fame career, but outside of the Philippines he isn’t very well known. His record in world title fights is 17-0-2 with 7 Ko’s and he’s gone 9-0-1 with 3 Ko’s against former, current, and future world champions. He hasn’t fought much on the road, but outside of his homeland he’s gone 10-1-2 with 3 Ko’s.
The former champ has also won some minor and regional titles as a pro including the Philippines Boxing Federation Light Flyweight Title, the WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight Title and the WBO Inter-Continental Flyweight Title. He is one of just four Asian boxers to win world championships in four or more weight divisions and one of three Filipino boxers to achieve the feat along with Nonito Donaire and Manny Pacquiao. Also, his 14 world title defences is a record for a Filipino.
Nietes and Ioka are both four-division champions but Nietes should end up in the hall of fame. However, he’s now 40 years old and hasn’t looked as sharp recently after being inactive between New Year’s Eve 2018, when he beat Ioka, and April, 2021. This should be more of a boxing chess match than a brawl but I think at this stage of their careers Ioka should be able to do enough to retain his title by win or draw.
Ioka’s seven years younger and hopes to avenge his loss to Nietes.
Play: Ioka -400 @ BetOnline.ag
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