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Kazuto Ioka v Joshua Franco: All you need to know

WBO super-flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka and WBA super-flyweight title-holder Joshua Franco square off in Tokyo on New Year's Eve.

Ioka has earned a reputation for stepping into the ring on the last day of the year, almost creating a new tradition for his nation, with Saturday's bout set to be the 11th time he's fought on 31st December.

The four-weight world champion, who previously held gold at mini-flyweight, light-flyweight and flyweight, has held the WBO super-flyweight belt since June 2019 and has made five successful defences to take his overall record to 29-2.

Franco, meanwhile, is set to defend his WBA super-flyweight title for the third time and he boasts an 18-1-2 record.

The American hasn't fought since winning his rematch with Andrew Moloney in August 2021, completing their trilogy.

What: Kazuto Ioka v Joshua Franco
Where: Ota City General Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan
When: 12:00, Saturday 31st December 2022
Odds: Kazuto Ioka 4/7, Joshua Franco 5/4

When is Kazuto Ioka v Joshua Franco?

The fight will take place on Saturday, 31st December. The main card is scheduled to begin at 10am UK time with ringwalks for the headline fight expected at 12:00.

Where is Kazuto Ioka v Joshua Franco?

Ioka will have home advantage when he takes on American Franco with the world title fight set to take place in Tokyo, Japan. Ota City General Gymnasium is the venue, which has a capacity of just over 4,000 and generally hosts basketball. Ioka's last five fights have taken place at this venue, each of those ending in victory.

Can I watch Kazuto Ioka v Joshua Franco?

The fight isn't available to watch for fans in the UK.

Are there any belts on the line in Kazuto Ioka v Joshua Franco?

Yes, both Ioka and Franco are putting their world titles on the line.

Ioka is defending his WBO super-flyweight title, which he won courtesy of a TKO victory over Aston Palicte in June 2019.

The 33-year-old has since made successful defences against Jeyvier Cintron, Kosei Tanaka, Francisco Rodriguez Jr, Ryoji Fukunaga and Donnie Nietes.

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Franco will put his WBA super-flyweight belt on the line as he makes his first appearance in Japan.

He won the title in June 2020, beating Moloney by unanimous decision at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.

His rematch with Moloney ended in a no contest due to an eye injury after an accidental head clash, but Franco defeated the Australian when they met for a third time in August 2021 by unanimous decision.

What are both men's records going into Kazuto Ioka v Joshua Franco?

Ioka has picked up 29 victories from 31 professional fights, winning 15 times by knockout and 14 courtesy of a decision.

His two career defeats, which came against Amnat Ruenroeng in 2014 and Nietes in 2018, were both by a split decision.

Franco has fought on 22 occasions with 18 ending in victory and just one defeat, while he's featured in two draws and one no contest since making his debut in 2015.

He has claimed eight wins by knockout and 10 by decision, while his sole career loss came in 2018 when he was beaten by TKO against Lucas Fernandez.

Who is the favourite for Kazuto Ioka v Joshua Franco?

Ioka is the 4/7 favourite To Win the Fight with Franco available at 5/4.

WBO champion Ioka can be backed at 11/2 to win By KO, TKO or Disqualification in the Fight Outcome market, while he is 1/1 to earn victory By Decision or Technical Decision.

WBA champion Franco is priced at 17/2 to win By KO, TKO or Disqualification and he is 15/8 to win By Decision or Technical Decision.

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