Japanese great & fringe Hall-of-Famer 🇯🇵Kazuto Ioka (23-2-0, 13KO) in a headliner bout will get back in the ring on June 19th to take on solid battle-tested Super-Flyweight 🇵🇭Aston Palicte (25-2-1, 21KO) of the Phillipine’s in pursuit of the vacant WBO Super-Flyweight World Title Belt.
Ioka has hs eyes deadset on becoming the first Japanese boxer of all-time to become a 4-Division World Champion, and his latest opportunity can get him just that if he does what he is normally accustomed of doing in putting forth a strong all-around performance. He fought for this very same Title back on December 31st of last year against Filipino legend 🇵🇭Donnie “Ahas” Nietes (42-1-5, 23KO) in what was a razor-close draw type of a fight that slightly went Nietes way on the official scorecards for the victory, himself becoming a 4-division Champion and beating Ioka to the marker. Nietes since then has made a conscious effort to vacate his WBO Title to avoid Mandatory tags so that he could operate freely in pursuit of another mega-match with one of the other major talents in the division void of any strings attached, so the WBO Belt was freed up and Ioka stayed as the #2 ranked contender by the WBO sanctioning body.
As for Aston Palicte, him being the mandatory challenger prior to Nietes giving up his title belt, he has maintained the ranking of #1 contender in the WBO by proxy, and with the opening, he has another crack at this same WBO belt by partaking in this #1 vs. #2 match-up. Last year on September 8th, Palicte also mixed it up with Donnie Nietes, and that bout was unfairly ruled a draw, considering that Nietes had full control of the fight, and should have gotten the decision, nonetheless Palicte performed well and maintained his status as a top-quality contender. With both of Ioka & Palicte’s backstories in pursuit of the WBO belt, each man now has a second chance to claim it, and one will be victorious in not just acquiring the belt, but some mega match-ups with the other Champions & elite contenders in the division seems to be looming for whoever rises victorious here.