Kazuto Ioka And Joshua Franco Headed For December Unification!

Ioka and Franco Negotiating for End of Year Unification in Japan

Kazuto Ioka and Joshua Franco headed for a unification bout
Kazuto Ioka (L), Joshua Franco (Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank)

Kazuto Ioka v Joshua Franco Unification Bout Targeting December

For WBO super flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka (29-2, 15 KOs), one of his goals for 2022 was to become a unified champion at 115 by the end of the year. It looks like he will get his wish. According to Levin Luna, sports director for Nicaraguan TV channel Canal 8, Ioka is currently in negotiations for a fight against WBA Regular champion Joshua Franco (18-2-2-1, 8 KOs). The bout is being proposed to occur in December in Ioka’s home country of Japan.


Boasting one of the more impressive resumes in boxing, Ioka is a fistic icon in his country. He’s a four-division world champion and has accumulated five defenses of the WBO 115-pound strap.

At age 33, the Japanese boxing savant seems to be fighting better. In his last fight, he gained a measure of revenge with a unanimous decision win over fellow four-division champion Donnie Nietes in July 2022.


Ioka would be facing Franco, who won the WBA strap with a surprising win over Andrew Moloney in 2020. A rematch took place but ended in a disappointing two-round no contest the same year.

Franco’s last outing was a third fight with Moloney. In that fight, Franco left no doubts as the 26-year-old was dominant en route to a unanimous decision win.

A concern that seems to be a barrier in finalizing this match is Franco’s time away from the ring. Should It happen, it would fall in line with the Japanese tradition of staging a big event in that nation featuring one of their world channels. Due to the fact that nothing has been finalized, stay tuned to 3Kings Boxing for further updates.

By: Michael Wilson Jr.

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About Mike W.2017 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for 3kingsboxing.com.