Nietes faces Ioka for WBO su­per fly crown

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Top Sports -

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 three­d­i­vi­sion world cham­pion, as well as com­ing from a re­spected coun­try like Ja­pan in­stead of fight­ing a fel­low Filipino,” said Aldeguer. EKA

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