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Boxing: Ioka and Franco ready for the New Year’s unification match

Japan’s Kazuto Ioka, the WBO super flyweight champion, will face American Joshua Franco, his WBA counterpart, in a world boxing title clash on December 31 in Tokyo, his club Shisei Gym announced on Monday.

Japanese boxer Kazuto Ioka (R) reacts at the end of his WBO super flyweight title fight against Donnie Nietes of the Philippines on July 13, 2022 at the Ota City General Gym in Tokyo. (Essonne Info) ==Essonne Info

Ioka, who in June 2019 became the first Japanese to win world belts in four weight classes, successfully defended the super flyweight crown five times.

“It’s a game I’ve been looking forward to for a long time,” Ioka, 33, who is currently in Las Vegas for training, told an online press conference.

“I’ve had a strong desire for a unification fight for a long time, so I prepared for that.”

In July, Ioka won a unanimous decision over Filipino Donnie Nietes.


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