It's fair to say that boxing fans have specific dates marked on their calendar. One of those is the weekend before Mayo de Cinco, another is the weekend before Mexican Independence day, another is the birthday of the Thai King, a date that is particularly notable for Thai fans. The key date for Japanese fans however is December 31st, a day that has become synonymous with Japanese boxing in recent years courtesy of Ioka and Watanabe, who have held rival shows for several years now.
The Watanabe and Ioka rivalry continues this year with both shows featuring a pair of world title bouts. At the moment Watanabe haven't released the details of their under-card but Ioka have and we've known about two supporting title bouts for a while.
Those title bouts, which have been known about for weeks, will see OPBF Bantamweight champion Takahiro Yamamoto (16-4, 13) defending his title against Yuki Strong Kobayashi (9-4, 5) and Japanese Super Flyweight champion Sho Ishida (20-0, 10) defending his title again against Ryuta Otsuka (15-8-2, 5).
We also now know that the Ioka card will feature former WBA Minimumweight champion Ryo Miyazaki (23-1-3, 14) facing off against Thailand's Thongchai Chaiyonggym (0-1) in a tune up bout, before a possible world title bout in 2016.
Thongchai's record, which is possibly incomplete, features only a single bout on boxrec. That bout came earlier this year against current Japanese Minimumweight champion Tatsuya Fukuhara, who stopped him in 3 rounds. With that in mind we would expect Miyazaki to do a quick job on the Thai. As for Miyazaki this bout is his 4th since he was upset, back on December 31st 2013, by Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr. Since that loss he has stopped his last 3 foes and we suspect that run will continue here.
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