MANILA – Donnie Nietes will have another shot at the WBO world super flyweight belt when he battles Japanese star Kazuto Ioka on New Year’s Eve in Macau.
Nietes’ promoter Michael Aldeguer of ALA Boxing Promotions said that, in principle, the world title fight between the Murcia, Negros Occidental native and Ioka is “a done deal.”
“The contract signing will just be a formality,” Aldeguer said in an interview with Ring TV. “It won’t be an easy fight either way, but Donnie (Nietes) has always been confident. He has beaten everyone, including world champions.”
“Ioka is a bigger name who comes from a respected country like Japan,” he added. “Nietes wants the biggest fights out there (instead of fighting a fellow Filipino) and this fight (with Ioka) is a step toward that.”
Nietes was denied his fourth world title in as many divisions after a controversial split draw with fellow Negrense Aston Palicte in their world super flyweight bout on Sept. 9 in California.
Nietes and Palicte were supposed to have a rematch but the WBO denied this. Palicte was instead recommended a world title eliminator with Jose Martinez of Puerto Rico.
The 36-year-old Nietes will parade an impressive 41-1-5 win-loss-draw card, including 23 knockout wins, while the 29-year-old Ioka has a 23-1-0 win-loss-draw record, with 13 stoppage victories./PN