DONNIE Nietes gets another crack at becoming a four-division world champion as he’s set to face Japanese star Kazuto Ioka for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) super flyweight belt on Dec. 31 in Macau.
“WBO approved the Nietes vs. Ioka (fight) for the vacant WBO super flyweight title. We recently discussed with the management of Team Ioka in LA, TLAROCK and Ioka’s manager Taku Nagashima. Tom Leoffler is involved too as he was part of the career of Nietes and Ioka the past year with Superfly,” ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer told SunStar Cebu. “In principle, the fight is a done deal. We just have to sign contracts to seal it. ALA Promotions and TLAROCK will work on the event together with the promoter from China, who we will announce soon.”
The 36-year-old Nietes fought for that same vacant title against compatriot Aston Palicte last September in California, which ended in a controversial split draw.
“Ioka is tough. It won’t be an easy fight but Donnie has always been confident. He has beaten everyone, including world champions. Everybody believed Nietes won against (Aston) Palicte clearly. We felt that there was no point of doing the immediate rematch. Ioka is a bigger name, being a three-division world champion, as well as coming from a respected country like Japan instead of fighting a fellow Filipino,” said Aldeguer. EKA