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Home > Match Information > WBA super flyweight champ Franco stripped of title as he fails to meet weight limit

WBA super flyweight champ Franco stripped of title as he fails to meet weight limit

Jun 23, 2023 20:06 pm

World Boxing Association super flyweight champion Joshua Franco of the United States was stripped of his title on June 23 as he failed to clear the weigh-in for the title match with sixth-ranked challenger Kazuto Ioka of Shisei Boxing Gym the following day at Tokyo’s Ota City General Gymnasium.

Though super flyweight weight limit is 52.16 kg (115 lbs.), Franco tipped the scales at 55.2 kg in his first attempt at a downtown hotel in Tokyo. He was then given a two-hour grace to weigh in again. But he managed to reduce only 0.2 kg one hour and 50 minutes later and was stripped of his title then and there in accordance with the relevant rule.

For his part, the 34-year-old Ioka, a former World Boxing Organization super flyweight champion, weighed in at 52.0 kg.

Franco can weigh in again on June 24’s morning, and if his weight remains below 58.96 kg (130 lbs.), he can have a fight with Ioka. If Ioka wins the fight, he will become the new champion. But if Franco wins it, the title will remain vacant.

After the weigh-ins, both attended a press conference at the hotel. Franco said while he has been through a lot, he hopes fans to look forward to the fight.

Ioka said, ‘’It is a direct rematch (with Franco), and I have to win it by all means. I will show the kind of fight better than the one I did on last New Year’s Eve.’’

  Ioka relinquished the WBO title in February this year after they fought to a majority draw in their title unification fight at the same gymnasium on last Dec. 31.

  Asked about his possible anger at Franco’s overweight, Ioka simply said, ‘’I have nothing about it. My feeling will never change.’’

  Franco’s trainer Robert Garcia said Franco has been put on the spot in the past week, although he did not go into detail.

  Garcia added, however, Franco was depressed because two days ago he felt the fight might not take place (for Ioka’s alleged use of a hemp substance when they first fought). Japan Boxing Commission announced on June 21 that a small amount of a hemp substance was detected from Ioka’s urine sample after the fight.

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

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