The traditional New Year show in Japan takes place on New Years Eve, and the Ota-City General Gymnasium hosts, as Kazuto Ioka puts his WBO super flyweight title on the line against WBA ‘super’ champion, Joshua Franco.
Ioka vs Franco is yet to have a confirmed broadcaster in the UK or USA.
Ioka (29-2, 15 KOs) has ruled as world champion at minimumweight, light flyweight and flyweight, but his first foray into the super flyweight division was an unsuccessful one, as he dropped a split decision to Donnie Nietes for the WBO belt in December 2018.
Since that defeat, the 33-year-old has won six on the spin, including the vacant WBO title immediately after his defeat to the Fillipino, stopping Aston Palicte in ten.
Five successful defences have followed, with his last a rematch win against Nietes in July, where Ioka took a wide points win.
Franco (18-1-2, 8 KOs) will be a dangerous opponent for Japan native. After three fights with Oscar Negrete, including two draws the Texan came to wider prominence during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, dropping Andrew Moloney on the way to taking a tight points win and the WBA super flyweight title in June 2020.
A rematch ended unsatisfactorily as an accidental head butt forced an end to proceedings in round two of their sequel, so a trilogy match was required.
Franco controlled the action in the main, as he ran out a clear points winner in August last year.
Prediction: This could be a fascinating, high-octane match, but I just slightly lean towards Ioka in front of a home crowd, to come through a close one on the scorecards.
The rest of the card is pretty threadbare.
In eight round action, Hayato Tsutsumi (1-0) should halt Pete Apolinar (16-3, 10 KOs) inside the distance at featherweight, and at super featherweight, Ryo Nakai (5-1-1, 2 KOs) can take a points win against Kai Watanabe (8-0-1, 4 KOs).
At super bantamweight, Ryuto Owan (9-1, 6 KOs) should get the better of Robin Langres (11-4, 4 KOs) on the scorecards.
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In six rounders, Satsuma Ito (1-0) can stop Wassana Kamdee (6-7, 5 KOs) at super flyweight, as the Thai has been stopped in all seven of her defeats, and at super welterweight, Kentaro Miyamoto (4-3, 2 KOs) can stop Taiga Ito (4-3-1).
Ayato Mochizuki (1-0) can score a four round points win at lightweight against Kazuki Ogiwara (1-1, 1 KO), and Kantaro Nakanishi (3-1-1) can do the same at super bantamweight against Akira Nakashima (2-4, 1 KO).