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Home > Match Information > WBA super flyweight champ Franco brimming with confidence in direct rematch with Ioka

WBA super flyweight champ Franco brimming with confidence in direct rematch with Ioka

Jun 20, 2023 18:06 pm

World Boxing Association super flyweight champion Joshua Franco of the United States was brimming with confidence as he conducted a public workout and a press conference on June 20 in Tokyo in preparation for his title defense against former World Boxing Organization super flyweight kingpin Kazuto Ioka of Shisei Boxing Gym on June 24.

It will be their direct rematch as the 34-year-old Ioka relinquished his title in February this year after they fought to a majority draw in their title unification fight last Dec. 31 at Tokyo’s Ota City General Gymnasium. This is because Ioka badly wanted a rematch with Franco.

While the 27-year-old Franco, nicknamed ‘’El Profesor,’’ only had shadow boxing and did some stretches at Shisei gym, he replied to each and every question posed by reporters thoroughly.

Asked about the reason when he accepted a rematch with Ioka in Japan, Franco said he himself wants to get it settled once and for all, and he has always wanted to come to Japan once again as he likes the country and friendly people here.

Franco says he weighs only 180 gm (0.4 lbs.) above the division’s weight limit of 52.16 kg (115 lbs.). He said he was able to rest sufficiently and added he thinks he is better conditioned this time around.

In their first fight, one of the three judges scored the fight 115-113 for Franco, while the remaining two had it 114-114, respectively.

In this connection, Franco said he is determined to show the kind of boxing which can appeal to judges better. He hopes to land more damaging blows to Ioka.

Asked about the fact that Ioka is good at fighting in a rematch as his past record shows (he beat Juan Carlos Reveco of Argentina and Donnie Nietes of the Philippines in their respective rematches), Franco brushed it aside by saying he also had similar experiences.

Ioka conducted his own public workout on June 19 at the gym under the guidance of his Cuban trainer Ismael Salas.

Franco has an 18-1-3 win-loss-draw tally with eight knockouts, while Ioka, Japan’s only four-division world champion, has a record of 29 wins, including 15 knockouts, against two losses and a draw.

The scheduled 12-rounder at Ota City General Gymnasium will be shown by way of Abema PPV.

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