Ioka, Palicte to vie for junior bantamweight title

Former three-division world titlist Kazuto Ioka and former title challenger Aston Palicte will collide for a vacant junior bantamweight world title on June 19 at the Osaka Prefectural Gym in Osaka, Japan, Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions has announced.

The bout will mark the first world title fight to stream on UFC Fight Pass as part of Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions' deal to stream up to 72 events with the outlet through 2021.

The Philippines' Palicte was the mandatory challenger for countryman Donnie Nietes, but Nietes elected to vacate the 115-pound belt and move up in weight rather than face Palicte in a rematch of their controversial draw for the vacant belt in September in Inglewood, California.

That left Palicte (25-2-1, 21 KOs), 28, to face Ioka (23-2, 13 KOs), 30, of Japan, for the vacant title.

Ioka lost a split decision to Nietes for the vacant title on Dec. 31 in Macau, China. Ioka has won world titles at flyweight, junior flyweight and strawweight and is 14-2 in world title fights.

Palicte is happy to get another chance to fight for a world title even if he is the underdog once again.

"I'm very excited for this second opportunity to fight for a world title. I and the whole team learned a lot from the last draw and made adjustments, which, I think, were very effective," Palicte said. "Since a rematch with Nietes will probably never take place, going against Ioka, who lost to him via a split decision, is probably the closest thing to redeeming myself after that draw.

"We've already planned out our training camp, which includes altitude training. More than anything, I'm very excited to get into the ring again to hopefully deliver to my RJJ Boxing family its first world title."