“Every fight is different”, as many wise fighters have said and this seems to be the case when Kazuto Ioka and Donnie Nietes rekindle their rivalry in Japan. Ioka, the WBO Super Flyweight Champion puts his title on the line against the last man to beat him in the last eight years: Donnie Nietes. This time around, the Ioka vs Nietes odds give the advantage to the hometown fighter as he looks to avenge his most notable defeat.
Ioka vs Nietes 2 Fight Info
- Boxers: Kazuto Ioka (c) (28-2-0, 15 KOs) vs Donnie Nietes (43-1-6, 23 KOs)
- Location: Ota City General Gymnasium
- Broadcast: Probellum
Ioka Looks to Avenge His Last Loss
The lower weight classes are home to boxing’s most underappreciated fighters. Kazuto Ioka has a strong claim as being the best boxer most casual fans have not heard of. Some analysts rank him as a top-10 pound-for-pound (P4P) fighter while some claim he is the best boxer in the division. To further cement his status, the 33-year-old has to beat an old rival in Donnie Nietes.
Ioka has beaten every contender thrown at him. Outside of title unification bouts, a rematch against Nietes is Ioka’s biggest bout and he expects this to be a career-defining match.
“Although people are saying Nietes is old now,” Ioka told The Ring in an interview. “I do not think so. I expect the same Nietes from last time. Ioka lost to Nietes via a controversial split decision in 2018. Since then, he’s become one of the best bets on boxing fights with five straight victories including a knockout victory over three-weight champion Kosei Tanaka.
“This time, I have the advantage going into the fight in terms of being active,” Ioka continued. “But I think he has had time to get himself back in proper condition.” Boxing betting tips outline the Japanese champion as the favorite though there will be plenty of support for the Filipino challenger on the Ioka vs Nietes lines.
Aged Nietes Still Has Plenty of Fight
Age may just be a number for this Filipino. But when he steps back inside the squared circle, Donnie Nietes will have to combat “ring rust” as well. The 40-year-old will look to his compatriot, Manny Pacquiao, in becoming one of the few boxers who win a world title in his 40s. He was one of the first three Asian fighters to win world titles in four divisions alongside Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire.
You can say that Nietes is underrated considering what he’s done in his career. But since defeating Ioka, Nietes has only fought twice and won once in a unanimous decision over Pablo Carillo in Dubai. Conspicuously, Nietes has fought to five draws in his career. Attribute this to his style of fighting, which is highly defensive, especially when compared to the prolific offense of Pacquiao and Donaire.
But Nietes’ style is also what will allow him to stay competitive even at this advanced age. Like Floyd Mayweather Jr. Nietes relies on boxing instincts and tactics to win bouts. This will allow him to edge younger and faster boxers like Ioka. Promoter Richard Schaefer already has big plans for Nietes should he win and prove the Ioka vs Nietes odds wrong.
“When you do become world champion again at age 40, who is going to stop you?” Schaeffer said. “Who is going to tell you that you cannot go and try to pursue a unification fight. For a long time, the lower-weight classes were neglected but now that has changed, and today, they are extremely popular with fight fans and networks. It’s the right time to be in those weight classes and would I not be surprised if Donnie, once he’s world champion again, says: ‘Hey, I might as well add a few more titles.”Follow us on Twitter