With Ioka and Uchiyama both now out of the end of year action it's fair to say that we are set for changes in the way Japanese TV show boxing, especially in late December.
The rumour coming out of Japan is a genuinely big one, that seems to suggest the end of TV Toyko's involvement in boxing.
According to sources TV Tokyo will not air a December 31st card this year, and more importantly their long association with Watanabe gym looks to be over. With Watanabe now, apparently, having inked a deal with TBS to air their yet to be announced December 31st show.
Reports suggest that Hiroto Kyoguchi (8-0, 6) [京口 紘人] will defend the IBF Minimumweight title against Carlos Buitrago (30-2-1-1, 17) in the headline bout of a TBS aired card on New Year's Eve. That report matches up with original plans to have a Light Flyweight unification bout between WBO champion Kosei Tanaka (10-0, 6) [田中恒成] and WBA champion Ryoichi Taguchi (26-2-2, 12) [田口良一], which was set to be aired on TBS before Tanaka suffered an injury.
Although yet to be confirmed a move from TV Tokyo by Watanabe would likely end the channel's association with the sport, for the foreseeable future, and potentially push the sport to becoming dominated in Japan by TBS and Fuji TV, who will be two very power channels going forward, who have almost every world champion in Japan, with WBO Flyweight champion Sho Kimura (15-1-2, 8) [木村翔] and WBO Minimumweight Ryuya Yamanaka (15-2, 4) [山中 竜也] fighting outside of the TBS and Fuji TV bubbles.
It needs to be noted that no offical announcement about any of the year ending shows have been made, but we're expecting them shortly, and this story may be confirmed very shortly.