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Boxing Results: Kazuto Ioka & Joshua Franco fight to 12-round majority draw

Image: Boxing Results: Kazuto Ioka & Joshua Franco fight to 12-round majority draw

By Brian Webber: WBA super flyweight champion Joshua Franco (18-13, 8 KOs) and WBO champ Kazuto Ioka (29-2-1, 15 KOs) fought to a questionable 12 round majority draw on Saturday night in their indication fight at the Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan.

Although younger and much bigger Franco outworked the 33-year-old former four-division world champion Ioka, the judges scored it a draw by the scores:

  • 115-113 – Franco
  • 114-114
  • 114-114

With the home crowd in Japan going wild each time Ioka would land anything, it’s not a shock that the judges scored it a draw, but the fight wasn’t close.

Franco dominated the contest with his nonstop pressure, combination punching, and the volume of shots that he landed in the fight. His combination punching was beautiful to watch, as he was unloading with punches, overwhelming Ioka’s defensive shell.

Franco’s fighting style was similar to WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol with how he fought Canelo. He was like a smaller version of Bivol, and was fun to watch him work. The only difference between Franco & Bivol was the lack of defense for the smaller fighter.

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Franco was getting hit between the combinations he was throwing and didn’t do a great job of blocking the odd shots that Ioka was throwing.

Still, Franco was throwing so many combinations and landing TONS of punches that it was impossible to give Ioka more than one round in the fight.

You can argue that the best round in the fight for Ioka was the 11th, in which he caught Franco with some tasty right hands to the head. With that said, Franco still outworked Ioka by a large margin in the eleventh round and had him against the ropes the entire time.

This writer had the 27-year-old Franco winning 11-1, as he outworked a very defensive-looking and much older Ioka by a tremendous margin. In most of the rounds, Ioka would back up against the ropes and try and fight off Franco by landing single shots in between his barrages of shots.

Everything Franco threw in the fight was lighter punches meant to make contact. However, with Franco throwing 3 to 7-punch combinations on everything he threw, it was impossible to give Ioka rounds because was getting bombarded by the younger fighter.

WBC super flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada was at ringside, eyeing the two champions and will likely fight one of them next. Estrada has more pop in his punches than Franco and & Ioka, and he’ll give them problems.

I’d still favor Franco over Estrada due to his youth, size, and his high work rate. Franco is an outstanding combination puncher from Bivol mold, and that would be too much for the old veteran Estrada.


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