The WBO will crown a new champion from the Ioka vs Nietes December mega-clash!
For months a bout between former three-time, three-division world champions Kazuto Ioka and Donnie Nietes has been in the works. Well 3KingsBoxing can now report the Ioka – Nietes bout has now been finalized!
Ioka (23-1, 13KO) held a press conference officially announcing the fight will indeed happen on December 31 in Macau. In addition, the bout will be for the vacant WBO super flyweight title.
There has been much speculation that this bout was pretty much a done deal, but this announcement confirmed what boxing insiders already knew.
Now there’s an interesting personal side-bar heading into this bout. Japanese newspapers have reported Ioka is now divorced from his wife, popular Japanese singer Nana Tanimura.
He and Tanimura were married in May 2017 to the disappointment of Ioka’s trainer/father Kazunori Ioka. It is widely believed a major reason he retired from the sport at the end of 2017 was due to how his marriage fractured the relationship with his father.
Now that this mega fight is set, will the recent personal drama involving Ioka distract him in any way during preparation for what is the biggest bout of his career?
An argument can be made that his divorce may further mend the relationship with his father. In the process, resulting in Ioka being in a happier space mentally heading into such a significant bout.
Possible drama aside, boxing fans who pay attention to the smaller-weight divisions are happy this fight is now official. This looks to be a terrific fight on paper, a very good clash of styles between two talented, accomplished and hungry fighters.
What a great way to end the year!
By: Michael Wilson Jr.