- 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.
🧵 𝐅𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐰𝐞𝐞𝐤 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝 🧵
🇯🇵 🇺🇸 Kazuto Ioka and Joshua Franco will square off once again in Japan following their majority decision draw last year.
— Boxing News+ (@BoxingNewsPlus) June 19, 2023
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 and Joshua Franco fight it out to a majority decision draw in Japan for the WBA and WBO World Super-Flyweight Titles.
— IFL TV (@IFLTV) December 31, 2022
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 to 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.
Kazuto Ioka (29-2-1, 15KOs) 🇯🇵 defeats Donnie Nietes (43-2-6, 23KOs) 🇵🇭 to defend his WBO Super Flyweight Title for the 5th time. Ioka is the first man to beat Nietes since 2004, avenging his own defeat from 2018. Ioka further cements his claim to P4P greatness. #IokaNietes2
— IBT Boxing Truth (@IBTBoxingTruth) July 13, 2022
Joshua Franco vs. Kazuto Ioka 2: Tale of the Tape
|Joshua Franco||Kazuto Ioka|
|Reach||67 inches||66.5 inches|
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 whole match.
However, one intriguing factor exposed Ioka from that bout – his age. “Father 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.
Boxing Betting Lines
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