Joshua Franco Looking for a Dominant Victory in Kazuto Ioka Rematch
Reigning WBA junior bantamweight champion Joshua “El Profesor” Franco (18-1-3, 8 KOs) is seven days from his June 24 rematch with four-division world champion Kazuto Ioka (29-2-1, 15 KOs) at the Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan. Franco hopes that this time around he will have his hand raised in victory.
LOOKING FOR A DIFFERENT OUTCOME
Their first encounter occurred in December 2022. It was a unification contest, as Ioka was the WBO champion. The fight ended in a majority decision draw. During an interview on The DAZN Boxing Show, Franco reflected on that fight with Ioka and broke down what he needs to do in the rematch.
“I was the busier fighter in the last fight, but my punches, they weren’t as clear as I wanted them to be. This time, I want to dominate in the same way but just make it a clearer win for this fight.”
When they fought previously, many pundits felt that Ioka was the better technical fighter. But Franco more than held his own in the skills department.
The WBA champion won the battle of the jabs and was more accurate and active. Franco also imposed his size, as Ioka was the more tired fighter at the final bell. Many fans felt that Franco did enough to earn the win. Ioka admitted during the post-fight interview that it was not his best performance.
Since that contest, Ioka elected to vacate the WBO belt to get a second chance at Franco. But El Profesor is just as hungry to get his hands on Ioka and win emphatically.
“That’s the plan. We don’t want it to go to the judges. But if it does, we want to make sure that it’s a very clear win . . . that I’m the clear winner for that fight.”
Franco believes he’s the best in a loaded junior bantamweight division. He’s looking to prove that on June 24 in his second battle with Ioka.