Tokyo will play host to a pair of rematches early Saturday morning, and it will be topped by a partial title bout. Joshua Franco and Kazuto Ioka will face off for a championship that only one of them can win.
Franco was set to enter the bout as WBA junior bantamweight champ, but he missed weight and was forced to vacate the title. Ioka can win the title with a victory on Saturday, but if Franco wins, the title would be vacated. The main card starts at 7 a.m. ET and the main event will start in the 9 a.m. hour. There is currently no television or live stream option for the fight in the United States.
When Franco and Ioka last fought, one judge scored it 115-113 for Franco, but the other two judges scored it 114-114 for the majority decision draw. Ioka (29-2-1) entered the bout holding the WBO title, which he retained in the draw. He vacated the title in order to secure the rematch with Franco (18-1-3 (1 NC)). Franco is a slim favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook. He’s -120 to win and +135 to win by decision. Ioka is -105 to win and +150 to win by decision.
The other fight on the card getting odds at DraftKings is a rematch between junior lightweight’s Musashi Mori (13-1-1) and Takuya Watanabe (39-11-2). Mori is a -255 favorite while Watanabe is a +195 underdog. They fought to a points draw in March.
Full Card for Joshua Franco vs. Kazuto Ioka
- Main event: Joshua Franco vs. Kazuto Ioka, 12 rounds, for vacant WBA junior bantamweight title (only Ioka can win it)
- Musashi Mori vs. Takuya Watanabe, 12 rounds, junior lightweight
- Daigo Higa vs. Sirichai Thaiyen, 10 rounds, bantamweight
- Kantaro Juri vs. Wilbert Berondo, 8 rounds, junior bantamweight
- Taiga Tamegai vs. Fumiaki Iwasaki, 4 rounds, junior featherweight