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Four world title bouts in Japan on Dec. 31

By Joe Koizumi

No less than four world title bouts will take place in Japan on no other than the last day of the year. We traditionally make it a rule to drink and sit up late until the prosperous-to-be new year comes, but it may be a good condition for television networks to get high ratings since great many people stay at home. Should the four title goes be shown by a single TV company, it won’t be a problem as our aficionados will watch all. But the three will be broadcast by TV Tokyo, and another by TBS TV—most probably at the same time. We are simply afraid that we won’t be able to see all.

In Tokyo, WBA super-feather champ Takashi Uchiyama (18-0-1, 15 KOs), Japan, will participate in a unification bout with interim titlist Bryan Vasquez (29-0, 15 KOs), Costa Rica, in a main event. WBC super-fly ruler Yota Sato (25-2-1, 12 KOs) will risk his belt against unbeaten OPBF champ and compatriot Ryo Akaho (19-0-2, 12 KOs) in a highly anticipated encounter. Japanese veteran Kohei Kono (27-7, 10 KOs) will have an ambitious crack at the WBA 115-pound throne against formidable defending titlist Tepparith Kokietgym (21-2, 13 KOs) of Thailand over twelve. Uchiyama is making his sixth defense against the unheralded interim champ.

In Osaka, WBA 105-pound champ Kazuto Ioka renounced his belt, and his stablemate and OPBF 108-pound ruler Ryo Miyazaki (17-0-3, 10 KOs) will dispute the vacant belt with ex-titleholder Pornsawan Porpramok (26-4-1, 16 KOs), a tremendously tough Thailander, over twelve frames. The former champ Ioka will also appear as a 108-pounder in the year-end show.

We, fight scribes, cannot make any appointments with our friends for drinking all night on the last day of the year here in Japan.




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