The ordered rematch between WBO junior bantamweight titleholder Kazuto Ioka and former titlist Donnie Nietes is official, with the fight set to take place on Wednesday, July 13, at Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo.
Ioka (28-2, 15 KO) controversially lost to Nietes (43-1-6, 23 KO) via split decision on New Year’s Eve at the end of 2018 in Macau. Nietes, now 40, didn’t fight again until returning in Apr. 2021, and hasn’t exactly looked in top form in his two fights since returning. He beat Pablo Carillo and went to a draw with Norbelto Jimenez last December.
Nonetheless, the WBO ordered the fight a couple months back, and now it’s on. Ioka would beat Aston Palicte for the again-vacant WBO belt in June 2019, and has defended successfully against Jeyvier Cintron, Kosei Tanaka, Francisco Rodriguez Jr, and Ryoji Fukunaga.
Ioka, 33, is a recognized four-division world champion, winning belts at 105, 108, 112, and 115. Nietes has achieved the same, though his fourth division came with the win over Ioka which, again, was plenty controversial.
Probellum did not announce any international TV or streaming rights for the fight, though it’s possible they will stream the bout outside of Japan.