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PH boxer neck-deep in training

by Nick Giongco

Long-armed puncher Aston Palicte is in the thick of training for his second shot at a world title.

Palicte is scheduled to battle Kazuto Ioka for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) super-flyweight crown on June 19 at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan.

Aston Palicte

Aston Palicte

Last Tuesday, Palicte laced up a pair of gloves and trained at the Elorde Five-Ecom Gym immediately after Manny Pacquiao conducted his first sparring session opposite Tim Tszyu of Australia.

The bid of Palicte (25-2 with 21 KOs) got a big boost following the arrival of chief trainer Rodel Mayol from the US.

Ioka (23-2 with 13 KOs) is a veteran of countless ring wars. Late last year, he nearly upset Filipino four-division champion Donnie Nietes in Macau.

The 5-8 Palicte is expected to utilize his three-inch height advantage and edge in punching power.

But Ioka will get support from an adoring crowd come fight night.

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