Palicte braces for world title battle vs Ioka
MANILA, Philippines – Aston Palicte may appear tall and big for a super flyweight, but he can still easily make weight.
The pride of Bago City weighed 116 pounds or just a pound over the limit on Sunday, June 16, as he braces for his battle with Japanese Kazuto Ioka for the vacant World Boxing Organization super flyweight crown in Chiba City, Japan.
The 5-foot-8 Palicte enjoys a two and half inch height and a one and a half reach advantage over Ioka, who is bidding to become the first four-division Japanese world champion.
Palicte, on the other hand, wants to claim the throne vacated by countryman Donnie Nietes, whom he fought to a draw last September in the United States.
Fact is, the 28-year-old Palicte trained long and hard for this fight, starting in Manila and winding up in Baguio City, where he sparred with members of the national team, until his departure for Japan on Tuesday, June 18.
In his last fight, Palicte disposed of erstwhile unbeaten Puerto Rican Jose Martinez in just two rounds to gain top ranking among the 115-pound contenders.
While confident of his chances, Palicte knows the 30-year-old Ioka is tough and fundamentally sound, being a former minimumweight, light flyweight, and flyweight titlist.
Palicte is banking on his power (25-2-1, with 21 knockouts) to beat Ioka (23-2, 13 KOs), who dropped a split decision to Nietes in their title duel on New Year's Eve in Macau.
With Palicte in Japan is former world champion Rodel Mayol, who will be wrapping up the training camp that was earlier supervised by Dean Bermudez and Palicte's brother Vincent. – Rappler.com
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