Kazuto Ioka and Joshua Franco didn’t settle anything on New Year’s Eve.
The 115-pound titleholder battled to a majority draw at Tokyo’s Ota Ward General Gymnasium.
One judge let Franco win 115-113, 7 rounds to 5. His two other scores were him 114-114.
Ioka (29-2-1, 15 KOs) is one of the world’s most respected title holders, has won major belts in two weight classes and is on the pound-for-pound list. honorable mention on Junkie’s list).
And the 33-year-old had the advantage of fighting at home.
But Joshua (18-1-3, 8 KOs) was clearly unfazed. Artful, his 27-year-old San Antonio fighter probably performed better than Ioka, but after a legally close fight, no one disputes the result.
The draw ended Ioka’s winning streak at six. WBO junior bantamweight champion.
WBA champion Franco has had three high-profile streaks of strong performances, barring a no-contest against Andrew Molony.
Franco sandwiched a no contest with a decisive victory over the capable Australian fighter.
The story was originally published on Boxing Junkie