Donnie Nietes fails in title bid with unanimous loss to Kazuto Ioka
MANILA, Philippines—The quest for a Filipino boxing champion continues.
Donnie Nietes failed in his bid to become the only current boxing champion from the Philippines, losing badly to Japanese rival Kazuto Ioka in their rematch on Wednesday night at Ota City General Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan.
Nietes, 40, showed his age while Ioka came out aggressive from the get-go and just kept going throughout the fight en route to a unanimous decision win.
The judges had it 118-110, 120-108 and 117-111 as Ioka (29-2, 15KOs) successfully defended his WBO super flyweight belt for the fifth time.
Ioka, seven years the junior of Nietes, targeted Nietes’ body early on, opening things up for him.
Known for his ring mastery, Nietes this time hust couldn’t keep a relentless Ioka at bay.
Nietes (43-2-6, 23KOs), who beat Ioka by split decision in their first encounter in 2018, suffered a cut just above his left eye in the 10th round.
The Negros Occidental native took his first loss since 2004.
It’s been a tough year for Filipino boxers.