Weigh-in Alert: Joshua Franco loses WBA belt on the scales forward of Kazuto Ioka rematch


Forward of Joshua Franco’s eagerly anticipated rematch with Kazuto Ioka, the America did not make the junior bantamweight restrict of 115-pounds, coming in nicely over weight at 121.5 kilos. He has been stripped of the WBA title and solely Ioka, who tipped the scales at 114.75 kilos, can declare the title.

Franco shockingly missed weight by a complete division. He was given two hours to lose some weight however he solely misplaced 200 grams. The struggle will nonetheless happen tomorrow on the Ota-Metropolis Gymnasium, Tokyo.

It’s attention-grabbing that regardless of the big weight disparity the JBC have allowed the struggle to go forward. On the time of writing there was no report as to how a lot of his purse Franco would forfeit, however you’d count on there was some settlement and likewise to what Franco might weigh for the struggle.

Clearly one thing didn’t go as deliberate for Joshua. Will the burden be an excessive amount of for the native hero to beat or will be capable of use it to his benefit? That is one other wrinkle, albeit undesirable, to this already intriguing matchup.

Within the first struggle which occurred on New Years Eve the 2 fought to a hotly contested 12-round draw.

Franco (18-1-3, 8 knockouts), The Ring’s No. 4-rated junior bantamweight, turned skilled in 2015. The Texan was extremely regarded earlier than being upset by Lucas Fernandez (L TKO 9) in March 2018. He grew to become extra battle-hardened, sharing 30 grueling rounds with Oscar Negrete (D 10, SD 10 and D 10).

That have served the 27-year-old nicely when he beat Andrew Moloney two out of 3 times (UD 12, ND 2, UD 12). As WBA “common” titleholder (a title unrecognized by The Ring), he waited patiently to face Estrada however when that didn’t occur, the WBA stripped the Mexican and promoted Franco to full titleholder. He snapped a 16-and-a-half-month hiatus to face Ioka final outing.

Ioka (29-2-1, 15 KOs), The Ring’s No. 2 rated junior bantamweight, claimed titles at strawweight and junior flyweight. The Japanese standout misplaced for the primary time to IBF flyweight titleholder Amnat Ruenroeng (SD 12). Unperturbed, he rebounded to finest Juan Carlos Raveco (MD 12) to win the WBA belt in that division. He made 5 defenses, together with a rematch victory over Reveco (TKO 11), then shockingly retired from the game in 2017.

Nonetheless, following a 17-month layoff, Ioka returned at junior bantamweight in the hunt for extra glory. He misplaced a WBO title bout to Donnie Nietes (SD 12) however stopped Aston Palicte (TKO 10) for the exact same belt after Nietes vacated. Now a four-weight world titleholder, Ioka, 34, made 5 profitable defenses, notably stopped Kosei Tanaka (TKO 8) earlier than dominating Nietes (UD 12) in a rematch. He vacated his title as an alternative of going through his obligatory so he might face Franco once more.


Kazuto Ioka: ‘I don’t really feel threatened by Joshua Franco’ – The Ring (ringtv.com)

Joshua Franco assured that he’s acquired Ioka ‘found out’ going into rematch – The Ring (ringtv.com)

Questions and/or feedback will be despatched to Anson at [email protected].


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