Donnie Nietes vs. Kazuto Ioka: Fight Odds, Time, Date | Bleacher Report

World Boxing Organization light-flyweight champion Donnie Nietes (C) of the Philippines celebrates after defeating Mexican challenger Felipe Salguero on June 2, 2012 during a WBO light-flyweight title bout in Manila, retaining his title.               AFP PHOTO / Jay DIRECTO        (Photo credit should read JAY DIRECTO/AFP/GettyImages)

JAY DIRECTO/Getty Images

New Year’s Eve will once again serve up a must-see fight in the Asian boxing market, as Donnie Nietes and Kazuto Ioka will battle it out for the vacant WBO junior bantamweight strap in Macau.

Ioka has long been a regular part of the New Year’s Eve tradition in Asian boxing but didn’t feature last year as part of his short retirement from the sport. He returned in September with a dominant win over McWilliams Arroyo and now has his eye on the veteran Nietes.

INGLEWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 08: WBC silver super flyweight boxer Kazuto Ioka of Osaka, Japan celebrates after winning his bout against McWilliams Arroyo of Fajardo, Puerto Rico at The Forum on September 8, 2018 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Meg Olipha

Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

The 36-year-old hasn’t lost since 2004 and is looking to bounce back from his draw against Aston Palicte in September. That result denied him a title in a fourth different weight class, but he’ll have another chance against Ioka.

OdssChecker has Nietes as the 8-11 favourite, while Ioka enters the bout with even odds. A draw comes in at 20-1 (odds accurate as of Friday, December 28).

Per the ringwalk is expected at 5 a.m. ET/10 a.m. GMT. Ring Magazine’s Ryan Songalia shared the fight details for the Philippines, with no information for the U.S. available:

Nietes (41-1-5, 23 KO) and Ioka (23-1, 13 KO) are expected to put on a show, as the latter tries to push himself among the elites of the lower weight classes after his short absence.

The longtime WBA flyweight champion has made the move up to junior bantamweight, and his next objective is to add a few big names to his resume. A win over Nietes could set up future dates with top fighters like Juan Francisco Estrada, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and perhaps even compatriot and bantamweight great Naoya Inoue.

Nietes also moved up this year in search of that elusive title in a fourth weight class, and at the age of 36, opportunities to win that belt and find a few more major paydays are starting to run out.

As shared by Rappler Sports he has vowed to be more aggressive when he faces Ioka:

In his last fight he easily out-landed Palicte and most believed he was denied a clear win by the judges. According to ESPN’s Dan Rafael Palicte was denied an immediate rematch, “mainly” because everyone thought Nietes was robbed.

While Nietes is the slight betting favourite, this fight could go either way. Both are excellent technicians with almost identical knockout percentages, and while the younger Ioka has a slight advantage in size and reach, Nietes has tons of experience and is unbeaten for well over a decade for a reason.

Ioka tends to leave himself open to big shots a little more but also usually improves drastically as the fight wears on. Nietes’ work rate is a little lower, but he often lands the bigger shots.

Picking a winner is nearly impossible. This should be a fantastic fight, and a superb ending to what has been a great year of boxing.

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