Nietes vs. Ioka fight is huge for Asia
With three-division world champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes set to fight fellow three-division world champion Kazuto Ioka of Japan on New Year’s Eve on December 31 for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) super flyweight title, the biggest winner here is Asian boxing.
This is, at least, what ALA Promotions International President Michael P. Aldeguer believes.
“This fight is huge for Asia as it involves three powerful boxing countries: Japan and the Philippines. And both camps agreed to choose Macao, China as the venue,” Aldeguer said.
The super fight was announced in Panama during the ongoing WBO annual convention which Aldeguer is attending.
WBO top honchos approved the fight between Nietes and Ioka after a series of discussions involving Aldeguer, TLA Rock, Ioka’s manager Taku Nagashima, and renowned international promoter Tom Leoffler in Los Angeles right after the fight between Nietes and fellow Filipino Aston Palicte for the WBO world super flyweight title, which ended in a draw.
“Tom Leoffler is involved, too, as he was part of the career of Nietes and Ioka the past year with Superfly,” said Aldeguer. “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.”
According to Aldeguer, although the fight was already approved by the WBO, they will still be negotiating with the stakeholders of the bout before they will sign the contract to finalize the fight.
The 36-year-old Nietes, a native of Murcia, Negros Occidental sports a record of 41 wins (23 by knockouts), one defeat and five draws.
He is undefeated since 2005.
The 29-year-old Ioka of Osaka, Japan has a record of 23 (13KOs)-1-0 and has not tasted a defeat since 2014.
Nietes’ fight against Palicte was hounded by controversy. One of the judges, Max de Luca, scored the bout even while the other judge, Robert Hoyle, favored Palicte.
The third judge had it for Nietes.
But a lot of boxing experts believed Nietes won the bout fair and square.
There were initial talks about a rematch between Nietes and Palicte but was later called off to pave the way for a bigger fight for the champion.
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