Kazuto Ioka, Donnie Nietes Make Weight For Long-Awaited Rematch In Tokyo

Kazuto Ioka and Donnie Nietes are ready to do it again.

The pair of four-division world champions both made weight for their WBO junior bantamweight title fight, which takes place Wednesday evening at Ota City General Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan.

Ioka (28-2, 15 KOs), who weighed 114.86 pounds for the rematch, has made four defenses of the WBO 115-pound title, and will look to make it five against Nietes (43-1-6, 23 KOs), who checked in at 114.5 pounds in an attempt to regain the belt he previously won with a December 2018 split decision win over Ioka.

Nietes, who is the third Filipino to win titles at four or more weights, joining Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire, now wants his belt back. He vacated the title after refusing a mandatory title bout rematch with countryman Aston Palicte, whom he fight to a draw in September 2018. Ioka instead fought Palicte and scored a 10th-round knockout, the first of a five-bout winning streak, to become Japan's first four-division champion.

In December 2020, Ioka scored an eighth-round knockout of then-unbeaten countryman and three-division world champion Kosei Tanaka, who was also attempting to win a world title in a fourth division, but Ioka stood in his way.

The 33-year-old Ioka was not at his best in his most recent fight, as he cruised to a 12-round unanimous decision over Ryoji Fukunaga. The latter served as a replacement opponent after a planned unification bout with then-IBF titlist Jerwin Ancajas was scrapped due to COVID-19.

Nietes is coming off a 10-round split draw against journeyman Norbelto Jimenez last December 11 in Dubai, the second draw in his last four fights.

Ioka-Nietes II will air live on TBS-Japan, beginning 9:00 p.m. local time (8:00 a.m ET).

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