PALICTE VS IOKA SA WBO SUPER FLYWEIGHT CROWN SA JAPAN

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(NI ARIEL BORLONGAN)

PORMAL nang inihayag sa Las Vegas, Nevada ng World Boxing Organization (WBO) ang laban nina No. 1-ranked “Mighty” Aston Palicte ng Pilipinas laban kay Japanese No. 2 contender at three-division world champion Kazuto Ioka para sa bakanteng WBO junior bantamweight title sa Hunyo 19 sa Osaka Prefectural Gym sa Osaka, Japan.

Ipalalabas ng UFC Fight Pass® ang live streaming ng laban sa labas ng Japan at ang Palicte vs. Ioka ang kauna-unahang kampeonatong pandaigdig sa boksing na ipalalabas sa FIGHT PASS na nakipagkasundo sa promoter ng Pinoy boxer na Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing na magpalabas ng  72 professional boxing events hanggang taong 2021.

Binitiwan ni four-division titlist Donnie Nietes ang WBO super flyweight title, upang mabigyan ng pagkakataon ang kababayan niya sa Negros Occidental na si Palicte na maging world champion makaraan silang magtabla sa unang laban noong Setyembre 8, 2018 sa Forum, Inglewood, California sa United States.

Pinatulog ng 28-anyos na si Palicte sa 2nd round ang dating No. 3 contender na si Puerto Rican Jose “Chiquiro” Martinez noong nakaraang Enero 31, kaya nagkaroon ng karapatang hamunin si Nietes na nagwagi naman kay Ioka sa 12-round split decision sa Macao, China noong Disyembre 31, 2018.

“I’d first like to thank my promoters (Keith Veltre & Roy Jones, Jr.) and manager (Jason Soong) for making this fight happen,” sabi ni Palicte sa BoxingScene.com.

“I’m very excited for this second opportunity to fight for a world title. I and the whole team learned a lot from the last draw and made adjustments, which, I think, were very effective,” dagdag ni Palicte. “Since a rematch with Nietes will probably never take place, going against Ioka, who lost to him via a split decision, is probably the closest thing to redeeming myself after that draw. We’ve already planned out our training camp, which includes altitude training in Baguio. More than anything, I’m very excited to get into the ring again to hopefully deliver to my RJJ Boxing family its first world title.”

Dating World Boxing Association (WBA) flyweight, WBA light flyweight, at WBA/World Boxing Council (WBC) minimumweight world champion ang 30-anyos na si Ioka, na nag-aambisyong maging unang Hapones na kampeon sa apat na dibisyon sa boksing.

“I want to thank the WBO for working with us to make this fight happen,” sabi ni  Veltre. “The WBO did everything possible to make this deal move forward. I want to thank Team Ioka for working with Roy Jones Jr Promotions, in addition to being professional and doing everything in their power to accommodate us. This is a great example of everyone giving in a little bit to make a great fight happen. Roy and I are extremely happy that we will be able to bring the first ever major World Title Fight to UFC Fight Pass and we are looking forward to seeing Aston Palicte becoming the world champion.”

May rekord si Palicte na 25-2-1 win-loss-draw na may 21 pagwawagi sa knockouts samantalang si Ioka ay may kartadang 23 panalo, 2 talo na may 13 pagwawagi sa knockouts.

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