Three division world champion Kazuto Ioka (23-2, 13 KOs) will take on Filipino slugger Aston Palicte (25-2-1, 21 KOs) on June 19 for the vacant WBO super flyweight title at the Osaka Prefectural Gym in Osaka, Japan. The event will be shown in the USA on UFC Fight Pass and is promoted by Roy Jones Jr. boxing promotions.
Ioka, 30, a native of Japan last fought on Dec 31, 2018 against Donnie Nietes for the vacant WBO super flyweight title but lost by split decision.
The fight was close and Ioka felt he did enough to win the title to become Japans first ever four weight division world champion, but the judges saw otherwise.
Despite the controversial loss to Nietes, Ioka feels extra motivated going into tonight’s fight especially to capture the fourth weight class title in front of his home country, it would be very memorable for him.
Aston Palicte is a 28-year-old from the Philippines who has yet to win a world championship belt. Like Ioka they share a common opponent in Donnie Nietes. Ioka lost a split decision while Palicte fought to a DRAW with Nietes. Both outcomes were controversial and ringside observes felt Nietes got a gift in both fights.
Roy Jones Jr. who promotes the Filipino challenger said Palicte must bring his A game to the fight because Ioka is a very good boxer with head and foot movement. Jones Jr. gives the edge in power to the Filipino but believes the fight is even and it all comes down to who came in better prepared come fight night.
Ioka wants the history making fourth belt, and Palicte wants to taste championship glory for the first time in his career.
Watch Aston Palicte vs Kazuto Ioka WBO world super flyweight champion ship on Wednesday, June 19, 2019 at 8:00 AM ET/PT Live stream on UFC Fight Pass.