An under-the-radar junior bantamweight title fight will occur on Saturday at the Ota-City General Gymnasium in Toyko, Japan. WBA champion Joshua Franco (18-1-3, 8 KOS) will once again face Kazuto Ioka (29-2-1, 15 KOS) with the hopes of getting a definitive winner officially, as the last fight ended in a majority draw.
Although fans that were watching felt like Franco should’ve pulled out the decision, he will be returning to Japan and will have to dominate from the beginning to the end of the fight to earn a decision in Japan. The issue with Franco is that he doesn’t possess knockout power, so he tends to get into these fights where the rounds are razor-close. Franco must be in superb condition and jump on Ioka from the start. He has to make the older fighter worker harder than he ever has so that he can drown him in the later rounds.
Ioka, on the other hand, needs to do the opposite. He has to box from outside of mid-range and force Franco to lunge forward so that he can counter him. Ioka is 34 years old, and you might as well be 40 in that weight class, so he has to be smart about how he paces himself. Can Ioka outsmart the younger Franco and add a WBA title to his successful career?
Former WBO Super Flyweight Champion Kazuto Ioka looking sharp ahead of his anticipated rematch with reigning WBA Super Flyweight Champion Joshua Franco in June at Japan.#FrancoIoka2@210bam @WBABoxing @GilberticoWBA pic.twitter.com/pF6it8ewne— OLE (@ajoaquinarieta) March 18, 2023
JOSHUA FRANCO VS. KAZUTO IOKA 2 BETTING ODDS
Per BetOnline.ag, Joshua Franco is currently sitting at -120, and Kazuto Ioka is at -110. It’s truly a 50/50 type of fight, just as the first one was back on New Year’s Eve.
JOSHUA FRANCO VS. KAZUTO IOKA 2 FIGHT DATE, START TIME
- Date: Saturday, June 24
- Time: 7 a.m. ET / 4 a.m. PT
These timings could change due to the length of the undercard fights.
WHAT CHANNEL/STREAM IS JOSHUA FRANCO VS. KAZUTO IOKA 2?
- U.S.: TBA (Rumor is that the fight will not be picked up here in the U.S.)
- UK: TBA
JOSHUA FRANCO VS. KAZUTO IOKA 2 FIGHT CARD
- Joshua Franco vs. Kazuto Ioka, rematch, 12 rounds, for Franco’s WBA junior bantamweight title
- Musashi Mori vs. Takuya Watanabe, 12 rounds, junior lightweights
- Daigo Higa vs. Sirichai Thaiyen, 10 rounds, bantamweights
- Kantaro Juri vs. Wilbert Berondo, 8 rounds, junior bantamweights
- Taiga Tamegai vs. Fumiaki Iwasaki, 4 rounds, junior featherweights