MANILA, Philippines – Aston Palicte’s punching power versus Kazuto Ioka’s championship experience.
Whoever imposes his will early on is likely to clinch the vacant World Boxing Organization super flyweight crown they’re disputing on Wednesday, June 19, at Makuhari Messe Hall in Chiba City, Japan.
Fighting before his countrymen, Ioka, bidding to become the first Japanese four-division world titlist, has been tagged the slight favorite over Palicte, who gained his second title crack after a two-round demolition of erstwhile unbeaten Puerto Rican Jose Martinez on January 31.
This despite Palicte’s nearly three-inch height and two-inch reach advantage over the 5-foot-5 ½ Ioka.
Also not given much credence is Palicte’s better 25-2-1 record, 21 knockouts, than Ioka (23-2, with 13 KOs).
In his first world title stint last September, Palicte held compatriot Donnie Nietes to a split draw.
Ioka then fought Nietes on New Year’s Eve in Macau, yielding a split decision.
Now, Ioka , who holds a 14-2 slate in world title fights, is determined to distance himself from 4 fellow Japanese with three-division crowns and cement his ring legacy.
With both boxers pouring everything in training, Palicte and Ioka breezed through the official weigh-in on Tuesday, June 18.
Palicte checked in at 114.6 pounds, while Ioka came in a bit lighter at 114.4.
After supervising Palicte’s final week of training, former world champion Rodel Mayol believes the pride of Bago City has the capability to stop Ioka for the first time ever.
But if Palicte can’t pierce Ioka’s defenses, Mayol is confident he’s ready to go the full 12 rounds. – Rappler.com