Donnie Nietes will get a second chance to fight for the vacant WBO super flyweight title.
In the middle of its annual convention, the WBO has ruled in favor of Nietes fighting for the vacant title once, but this time it will be against three-division world champion Kazuto Ioka.
The fight had already been in play for the title, but once it got signed, the governing body then approved the bout to be for the vacant belt. The fight still has no official date or venue, but Asian Boxing reported that the fight could take place on December 31 in Macau.
Nietes fought Aston Palicte for the title on September 8 on HBO's "Superfly 3" card. The fight created some controversy as it ended in a draw which meant the title remained vacant. Ioka also fought on that HBO card, defeating McWilliams Arroyo by unanimous decision.
As it pertains to Palicte and his chance at fighting for the title, the WBO ordered Palicte to fight undefeated Puerto Rican contender Jose Martinez, ranked No. 4 by the governing body at 115 pounds. The winner of that fight, which has no scheduled date, will become the mandatory challenger to whomever wins the title fight between Nietes and Ioka.
The title was previously held by Naoya Inoue, but he vacated the title earlier this year in order to move up in weight. Inoue is currently competing in the World Boxing Super Series as the WBA "regular" bantamweight champion and will fight IBF champion Emmanuel Rodriguez in 2019 in the tournament semifinals.