The official weigh ins for tomorrows card in Osaka took place early today and saw the men in involved in the main event and co-feature all made weight.
The co-feature, which sees former WBA Minimumweight champion Ryo Miyazaki taking on world ranked Thai Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr saw both men weighing in dead on the Light Flyweight limit of 108lbs. This was no surprise as both Miyazaki (20-0-3, 11) and Sakkreerin Jr (22-2, 14) were actually going up in weight from their last fight. Maybe the biggest surprise here though is that Miyazaki was dead on the weight, perhaps suggesting his stay at 108lbs isn't going to be as long as we thought it may be. This may well be a stop gap for the young Japanese fighter who could be looking at an immediate jump to Flyweight, where he actually began his career.
For the main event we were surprised by the weight of both Kazuto Ioka (106.5lbs) and Nicaraguan challenger Felix Alvarado (106.75lbs). This is the lightest Ioka has been since his final Minimumweight title fight back in June 2012 whilst the challenger is the lightest he has ever been. The ease with which both men mad weight here is rather striking and could suggest that they have over-trained or possibly that Ioka has no intentions of moving up to Flyweight, something we had assumed was a given earlier in the week.
The main event, which will be the 3rd defense of the WBA Light Flyweight title by Ioka (13-0, 9) is to be aired on TBS and is the first world title fight for Alvarado (18-0, 15). For those wondering about our thoughts on the bout, you can read our preview here.
Today saw the pre-fight screen of WBA Light Flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka and Nicaraguan foe Felix Alvarado. The screening, done ahead of their world title fight on New Years Eve gave us some interesting details about both men which have been added to our "Tale of the Tape" chart which can be seen below.
As you can see Ioka, despite being the taller man by over 2cm has the significantly smaller reach and will be giving away 5.5cm in that area. This could well see Alvarado having a chance to neutralise the jab and straight shots, especially to the body from Ioka. On the flipside however is the fact that Alvarado does seem likely to give up his reach and try and get inside effectively losing this advantage.
Away from the physical traits it's worth nothing that whilst both are unbeaten Ioka has the higher quality experience and, despite being in fewer fights, almost twice as many rounds as Alvarado. It's worth noting that, despite not being shown on this table, Alvarado has only been beyond 6 rounds once and never completed a 12 rounder before whilst Ioka has completed 12 rounds twice and has an average fight length of over 7 rounds, something that will certainly help him as the fight goes on.
The fight, televised on TBS as part of "Kyokugen 2013", promises to be a great fight though as mentioned in our preview, we certainly see only one winner.
Whilst we knew that there was going to be at least 1 major "New Years Eve" card in Japan with Takashi Uchiyama and Takashi Miura in action, we found today that there was actually going to be a second.
Promoted by Ioka, the "other" New Years Eve show will be televised on TBS and feature current WBA Light Flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka defending his title against unbeaten Nicaraguan prospect Felix Alvarado as well as Minimumweight champion Ryo Miyazaki facing Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr in a none title bout.
Although details on the full card have yet to be released we expect these will be the headline bouts.
Kazuto Ioka (13-0, 9) will arguably be facing his toughest test as the Light Flyweight champion when he collides with Alvarado (18-0, 15) who is a tough and hard punching South American who has caught the eyes of a number of fans. We expect that this could be Ioka's final fight at 108lbs win or lose before he mounts a challenge at the Flyweight division.
Although Ioka is defending his title Miyazaki (20-0-3, 11), is fighting in a non-title bout against Sakkreerin Jr (22-2, 14). Like the Ioka contest this will be Light Flyweight, allowing Miyazaki an extra 3lbs from his usual fighting weight. We expect that this will serve as an opportunity for Miyazaki to test the waters at 108lbs before looking for a world title fight, likely for the belt that Ioka will vacate.
We're hoping, though it's merely our hope, that Masayoshi Nakatani (6-0, 5) may also be on this card. In fact if he's not he really needs to be in action very early in 2014 or else the memory of his victory over Shuhei Tsuchiya could well be forgotten before he gets the chance to capitalise on it.
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