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Rematch Between Joshua Franco And Kazuto Ioka To Occur On June 24th

Rematch Between Joshua Franco and Kazuto Ioka To Occur On June 24th featured image
Muli-weight division champion Kazuto Ioka (L) and WBA titleholder Joshua Franco (R) will meet each other in the ring again on June 27th following their New Year's Eve draw last year. (Photo by Kyodo News via Getty Images)

A rematch has been arranged between Joshua Franco and Kazuto Ioka after their last fight ― held on the last day of December in 2022 ― ended in a majority decision draw. Their rematch is set to occur at the Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo where they also had their last bout and is scheduled to place on June 24th where Franco’s WBA world title will be put on the line.

Unlike the last time, Japanese contender Kazuto Ioka (29-2-1, 15 KO’s) will be without his WBO Super Flyweight title which he vacated following his match with American WBA champion Joshua Franco (18-1-3, 8 KO’s) on December 31st. The reason behind his relinquishment was to seek this very rematch with Franco, and to withdraw himself from the WBO mandate to face former WBO Flyweight champion Junto Nakatani (24-0, 18 KO’s).

Ioka’s decision to vacate his world title shows his determination and will to defeat the American who is all too used to rematches after having faced Junior Bantamweight contender Andrew Moloney (25-2, 16 KO’s) thrice (with one match being counted a no-contest), and Bantamweight contender Oscar Negrete (19-3-2, 7 KO’s) twice. In both rematches, Joshua Franco came out on top.

The two seem to be in different stages of their careers with Kazuto Ioka now being 34 years of age, while Joshua Franco is 27 years old and arguably at his peak or close to reaching it. Ioka, however, will seek to reclaim the winning form that saw him win world titles in multiple divisions. The Japanese fighter had been in tremendous form at 115 lbs prior to facing Joshua Franco, and his match with the American will determine whether he can still hang with the top bracket of boxing.

Kazuto Ioka further will look to reclaim a top position in the pound-for-pound rankings in which he had occupied a spot in the past couple of years until his draw with Franco, while Joshua Franco is set to prove himself as a world champion by facing his strongest opponent yet.