Joshua Franco vs. Kazuto Ioka 2 Fight Card, Odds, & Predictions

min read
Kazuto Ioka, left, of Japan and Joshua Franco, right, of the U.S. fight in their WBO, WBA super flyweight world boxing title.
(AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)
Anatoly Pimentel @AnatolyPimentel Jun 21, 2023, 5:19 PM
  • Joshua Franco is a slight betting favorite at -110.
  • Kazuto Ioka is a slight betting underdog at +100.
  • The WBA World Super Flyweight title is on the line.

After a highly controversial result in their first meeting, which ended in a majority draw, the title rematch between Joshua Franco (18-1-3) and Kazuto Ioka (29-2-1) takes place this Saturday, June 24, inside the Ota-City General Gymnasium. Only Franco’s WBA World Super Flyweight title will be on the line because Ioka already vacated his WBO World Super Flyweight title. Franco, who was deemed as the clear winner by fans and experts of the first fight, is the slight betting favorite in online sports betting at -110.

Many believed that the home-court advantage of Ioka during the first meeting with Franco played a significant part in the disputable result of retaining his WBA title. The Japanese boxer is now tagged as the slight betting underdog at +100. Another factor for their respective roles in the betting lines is their record, as Franco has only sustained one loss to his record, while Ioka has already absorbed setbacks.

Joshua Franco Recent Fight Result

Joshua Franco is one of boxing’s rising stars today, with his impressive record of 18 wins (with eight TKO/KOs), one loss, and three draws. He made his pro debut in 2015 and jumped to a record of 14 wins and one defeat in his first 15 bouts. Following that impressive start to his boxing career, “El Professor” found himself in two trilogy fights against Oscar Negrete and Andrew Moloney.

In those trilogy fights, he racked up three wins, two split draw results, and a no-contest to win the North American Boxing Federation Bantamweight title against Negrete and the WBA World Super Flyweight title over Moloney. These triumphs allowed Franco to unify the WBA and WBO titles against Kazuto Ioka in December 2022, but ultimately resulted in a majority decision draw.

Kazuto Ioka Recent Fight Results

Before winning the WBO Super Flyweight title, Kazuto Ioka held the WBC Minimumweight title, WBA Minimumweight title, WBA Light Flyweight title, and WBA Flyweight title to become a three-division world champion. The Japanese boxer only had two losses on his record courtesy of Amnat Ruenroeng and Donnie Nietes, as both fights ended in a split decision. The 34-year-old also holds a stacked pile of wins against other top boxers.

The Tokyo native has defeated the likes of Aston Palicte, Kosei Tanaka, and McWilliams Arroyo and avenged his loss toΒ  Nietes in their rematch. The majority decision draw with Franco was Ioka’s first draw result in his career, and although he already has two losses, he hasn’t tasted a TKO/KO stoppage or even a knockdown in his career. 51% of his 29 victories came off finishes, which accounts for the power he carries.

Joshua Franco vs. Kazuto Ioka 2: Tale of the Tape

Joshua FrancoKazuto Ioka
Age 27 34
Height 5'55'5
Reach 67 inches66.5 inches
Record 18-1-329-2-1
Stance Orthodox Orthodox
TKO/KO Percentage44%51%

Joshua Franco vs. Kazuto Ioka 2: Fight Analysis

The initial meeting between Franco and Ioka was a treat to boxing fans. Both put up a great match that fulfilled expectations in a unification title showdown, despite the anti-climatic majority decision result, with both retaining their belts. Their first match also displayed their strengths, producing an exciting and competitive fight.

Franco leaned toward his usual volume punches, attempting 1,412 punches, with 688 being jabs and the remaining 724 being power punches, according to CompuBox. Although, he didn’t land accurately, because only 14.3% of his punches landed on Ioka (6% on jabs and 22.2% on power punches). These numbers reflected his fighting style of forward pressure.

The American also showed outstanding stamina and durability, thanks to his youth and athleticism at 27 years of age. This is one of the primary reasons why one of the judges gave him the edge in the scorecards, 115-113, against his Japanese counterpart because of the constant pressure and relentless attack throughout the 12 rounds.

Meanwhile, Ioka was the more precise and accurate boxer, with 26.9% of his total punches landing on Franco (214 out of 797). This was also the story in the total jabs and power punches, where the 34-year-old registered 12.9% accuracy on jabs (47 out of 364) and 38.6% precision on power punches (167 out of 433). In other words, he finished the match with more quality punches than Franco’s volume.

Ioka stuck to his style of being the more cerebral boxer who waits and counters. However, on several occasions during the match, he looked overwhelmed by the combinations that his American opposition was throwing. He eventually survived the onslaught and returned the punches to back off Franco.

It will be an interesting rematch between these two super flyweight stars because they already know the capabilities and tendencies of each other. Ioka’s powerful and quality shots can nullify Franco’s offensive volume; thus, they can absorb and survive each other’s best punch throughout the wholeΒ  match.

However, one intriguing factor exposed Ioka from that bout – his age. β€œFather Time” might have finally caught the Japanese boxing star because usually, when he hits his opponent with a clean head or body punch, they almost immediately touch the canvas, but instead, Franco absorbed it very well.

If that version of Ioka shows up in this upcoming rematch, Franco could stop him in the latter rounds via TKO/KO. His power and speed are declining, making it a perfect opportunity for the American to close out this chapter in his career by reapplying the forward pressure, pairing it with volume punches, and being more precise and accurate.

Joshua Franco vs. Kazuto Ioka 2: Date and Start Time

June 24, 2023, 6 p.m. PT

June 24, 2023, 8 p.m. CT

June 24, 2023, 9 p.m. ET

Joshua Franco vs. Kazuto Ioka 2: Fight Prediction

Official Prediction: TKO/KO victory for Joshua Franco.

See the entire Joshua Franco vs. Kazuto Ioka 2 odds and wagers here.

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About the Author

Anatoly Pimentel

Read More @AnatolyPimentel

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.