Kazuto Ioka exacted revenge on Donnie Nietes by winning the rematch by unanimous decision on Wednesday to keep the WBO super flyweight title, four years after a contentious loss to Nietes.
The Japanese star improved to 29 to 2 after receiving judges’ scores of 118-110, 120-108, and 117 to 111.
Tim Boxeo tweeted: 33yr old Kazuto Ioka 井岡一翔 (29 to 2) dominates 40yr old Donnie Nietes (43 to 2 to 6) in their rematch from Tokyo to defend his WBO super flyweight title. Neither fighter was ever in danger – Ioka controlled the ring and controlled the fight. Official scores 118 to 110, 120 to 108 & 117 to 111
Nietes’ 37-fight winning streak, which began in September 2004, was broken with the defeat. On December 31, 2018, he defeated Ioka in a split decision to claim the vacant WBO junior bantamweight title.
Jake Donovan tweeted: Twelve rounds done. Ioka barely looks like he was in a fight. Nietes was well aware of being dealt his first loss in EIGHTEEN years – unbeaten in 37 fights and four weight divisions over that stretch. #IokaNietes2
Nietes (43 to 2 to 6), who will turn 40 in May, appeared outmatched the entire time. He never appeared to be in danger of being dropped, but in the tenth round, when he sustained a cut above his eye, Ioka’s relentless striking converted his face into a crimson mask.
Graham Houston tweeted: Good, solid, disciplined performance from Ioka today in Japan but I was glad to see 40-year-old Nietes make it to the final bell. Bloodied from [a] cut over the eye — the last two rounds were very tough for the Filipino veteran but he hung in there.
Stephen tweeted: Solid performance there from Ioka who successfully defended his WBO 115lb title, beating Donnie Nietes by UD in their rematch. Nietes had some success early on and was able to counter Ioka in small spots but overall Ioka was just able to outclass Nietes at this point of his career.
Nietes’ attempt to bridge the gap came closest in the eighth round. Ioka was briefly shocked by a powerful right uppercut from the opponent, but the champion quickly recovered and resumed systematically taking down the foe.
Ioka appeared to have focused most of his attention on Nietes’ body during the fight. He never attempted a knockout aggressively. The 33-year-old constantly pounded Nietes with jabs until scoring in the tenth round with a right hook that sliced his opponent above the left eye.
It will be interesting to follow Nietes’ future developments. The native of the Philippines had a two-year break before fighting Pablo Carillo in April 2021. He prevailed in that contest, and on December 11 he drew Norbelto Jimenez.
Ioka has successfully defended the WBO super flyweight title five times with this victory. In June 2019, he defeated Aston Palicte with a TKO. His five defenses have produced four unanimous-decision triumphs. He also defeated Kosei Tanaka through technical knockout.
Ioka might try to challenge WBC super flyweight champion, Jesse Rodriguez. On September 17, the Texas native, 22, will face Israel Gonzalez in a title defense as a co-feature of the Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin trilogy bout. Another choice might be Roman Gonzalez.