As this chaotic year reaches its conclusion, boxing continues to load up on several more notable events.
Despite the sweet science closing down its doors for a few months, the sport returned with a bang with several big events and “Fight Of The Year” contenders. However, one specific fight will look to close out the year by surpassing all other fights.
Ioka vs. Tanaka Looks To End The Year In Style
Over in Japan, a WBO super flyweight title bout between multi-divisional champions Kazuto Ioka and Kosei Tanaka. The fight will take place at Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo on December 31.
The fight will be part of Japan’s traditional New Year’s Eve boxing show, often one of the biggest and best boxing cards of the year. Ioka and Tanaka have been a part of some spectacular fights in the past, especially Tanaka, who delivered an all-time great flyweight fight against Sho Kimura back in September 2018.
More than two years later, Tanaka will look to join an exclusive club of less than two dozen boxers to capture a title in at least four weight classes. Ioka is a recent member of the quadruple champions club, beating Aston Palicte in June 2019 to win the WBO title.
Both of these guys are capable in engaging in tremendous, action-packed fights and this fight should at least give fans plenty to think about when it comes to deciding what will be the best fight of 2020.
Ring City USA Main Events Announced
When Ring City USA was formed and cards were going to be televised on NBC Sports Network, there was a level of curiosity as to what kind of fights were going to make the airwaves.
The first of these shows, taking place on November 19, will be headlined by O’Shaquie Foster and Miguel Roman, a solid fight that pits a rising contender (Foster) against a former title challenger (Roman).
Now, two more main events were announced. Unbeaten Ukranian knockout artist Serhii Bohachuk will take on former middleweight title challenger Brandon Adams on December 3. Bohachuk has been making waves across the sport by winning all 18 of his pro bouts inside the distance and even being a hit with Mexican boxing fans.
Some may remember Adams as the winner of the reboot of “The Contender,” beating Shane Mosley Jr. in the show’s finale in 2018. He was then thrust into the spotlight once more the following year when he took on Jermall Charlo in Charlo’s first title defense.
It’s a good step-up for Bohachuk, who is already ranked in the top 10 at 154 pounds by both the WBC and WBA while Adams could quickly get back into the title picture with a win over one of boxing’s best prospects.
As for the other main event announced, unbeaten fighters Charles Conwell and Madiyar Ashkeyev will meet on December 17.
Conwell has quickly ascended to becoming a contender at 154 pounds thanks to wins over Wendy Toussaint and Patrick Day, the latter of which ended in tragedy as Day died from injuries sustained in the fight against Conwell. Still, Conwell has proven to be a strong puncher who is also capable of taking a punch. With a win over Ashkeyev, Conwell will look to enter the title picture in 2021 in a constantly-shifting junior middleweight division.
When it comes to Ashkeyev, the Kazakhstan native is already coming off a win over former title challenger Rodolfo Ezequiel Martinez, stopping him after five rounds this past November. Like Conwell, Ashkeyev is capable of landing big shots and hurting most opponents, meaning that their encounter will see plenty of heavy hands being thrown.
The Ring City events will air live from Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Gym in Los Angeles.
Shakur Stevenson Gets Opponent For December Main Event
Shakur Stevenson has been one of boxing’s brightest young stars to emerge onto the scene in the last year.
His dominant win over Joet Gonzalez not only earned Stevenson his first world title, but also solidified his standing as one of the featherweight division’s best. Fast forward a year later and Stevenson has moved on to the super featherweight division. Stevenson will return to the ring just a few months after his 130-pound debut, though his return was somewhat sudden.
According to Cameron Wolfe of ESPN, Stevenson will take on Toka Khan Clary on December 12 as the main event for a Top Rank show on that date. Originally, WBC super featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt was set to defend his title against Oscar Valdez, but Berchelt tested positive for COVID-19.
This led to Stevenson vs. Clary being made and set as the new main event of the show. Stevenson is coming off a dominant knockout win over Felix Caraballo back in June and quickly staked his claim to a title shot for 2021.
Clary has won three straight after a competitive loss to Kid Galahad in a world title eliminator back in 2018. Clary will be one of Stevenson’s toughest fights on paper as he’s a tough southpaw with a fair amount of power in both hands. But more importantly, the fight will serve as a way to potentially prep Stevenson for fights against the likes of Vasiliy Lomachenko and IBF super featherweight champion Joseph “JoJo” Diaz, both excellent southpaws.
All this more highlight a great month of boxing to close out what many consider to be a tumultuous year. Below are just a few notable fights (with American broadcaster in parenthesis) also taking place in December:
- December 4 (DAZN): Billie Joe Saunders vs. Martin Murray
- December 5 (FOX PPV): Errol Spence Jr. vs. Danny Garcia
- December 12 (DAZN): Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev
- December 12 (Showtime): Nordine Oubaali vs. Nonito Donaire
- December 12 (DAZN): Joseph Parker vs. Junior Fa
- December 16: Tim Tszyu vs. Bowyn Morgan