BOXING | Kazuto Ioka, Joshua Franco Set for Rematch on June 24
After fighting to a majority draw on New Year's Eve, Kazuto Ioka will meet his American opponent for the second time with only one title on the line this time.
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Pride will be on the line when Kazuto Ioka and Joshua Franco renew their rivalry on June 24 at Tokyo's Ota City General Gymnasium.
Shisei Boxing Gym, where Ioka trains, announced details of the rematch on Monday, April 24.
Their New Year's Eve super flyweight unification title bout ended in a majority draw at the same venue. Franco (18-1-3, eight knockouts) retained his WBA title after two judges scored the 12-round bout 114-114. Stanley Christodoulou decided in favor of Franco (115-113) on December 31, 2022.
Ioka retained his WBO title, but then vacated it in February after the World Boxing Organization ordered him to face mandatory challenger Junto Nakatani.
Instead of taking on 25-year–old Japanese compatriot Nakatani (24-0, 18 KOs), Ioka will meet Franco, a 27-year-old American, again.
"Fighting a title defense was not an option for us at all," 34-year-old Ioka (29-2-1, 15 KOs) was quoted as saying by Kyodo News. "The point is to carry on the fight from last year in the next bout and settle the matter with [Franco]."
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Author: Ed Odeven
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