WBO super flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka’s next title defense will feature some unfinished business, as the sanctioning body has ordered him to rematch former foe Donnie Nietes. The pair have 30 days to come to terms and avoid a $100,000-minimum purse bid.
Nietes (43-1-6, 26 KO) narrowly edged out Ioka (28-2, 15 KO) in a 2018 vacant title bid, becoming a four-division champion in the process. The now-39-year-old “Ahas” then proceeded to vacate the belt just months later rather than rematch Aston Palicte, leaving Ioka to stop Palicte for the belt while Nietes missed all of 2019 and 2020.
He returned to action this year with a decision win and a hugely controversial draw with Norbelto Jimenez, which was switched from a 12-rounder to a 10-rounder apparently without Jimenez’s knowledge; this is despite the announcer calling it a 12-rounder and Nietes’ new WBO trinket being on the line.
Ioka hasn’t had a truly standout performance snce smashing Kose TAnaka two NYE’s ago, but the momentum is definitely in his favor for the rematch.