The UFC Fight Pass streaming service has started to dig into boxing a bit more, airing Roy Jones Jr-promoted cards and recently adding Lou DiBella’s popular Broadway Boxing series, and on June 19, they’ll have the first world title fight.
The vacant WBO super flyweight title will be on the line on June 19, as Kazuto Ioka faces Aston Palicte at Osaka Prefectural Gym in Osaka, Japan.
Ioka (23-2, 13 KO) is a former three-division titleholder, winning belts at 105, 108, and 112. In 2017, he announced his retirement from the sport, but returned to the ring last September at 115 pounds, beating McWilliams Arroyo on HBO. On Dec. 31, he faced Donnie Nietes for the vacant WBO title, with Nietes winning a decision in Macau.
Palicte (25-2-1, 21 KO) also fought Nietes for that vacant belt last September, on the same HBO card that featured Ioka’s return. In a fight that pretty much everyone felt Nietes had won, the judges came back with a draw. In January, Palicte beat Jose Martinez in an eliminator to earn another crack at the belt.
The title is vacant again because Nietes chose to vacate the title instead of face Palicte a second time, with Nietes looking instead for bigger money fights.
Palicte, promoted by Roy Jones Jr, will get his shot anyway, as he should by the rules and all that.
“I’m very excited for this second opportunity to fight for a world title,” he said. “I and the whole team learned a lot from the last draw and made adjustments, which, I think, were very effective.
“Since a rematch with Nietes will probably never take place, going against Ioka, who lost to him via a split decision, is probably the closest thing to redeeming myself after that draw. We’ve already planned out our training camp, which includes altitude training in Baguio. More than anything, I’m very excited to get into the ring again to hopefully deliver to my RJJ Boxing family its first world title.”