Thursday, Dec. 31
TBS (Japan), 3:00 am ET, Kazuto Ioka vs Kosei Tanaka. There are various ways to see this, and Patrick set up a handy guide for Americans in particular to watch the fight. If you’re in the UK, BoxNation have you covered. If you’re in Latin America, the fight will be on ESPN or ESPN2 depending on country. This is a great fight, with top flyweight Tanaka coming up to 115 to challenge for the terrific veteran Ioka’s WBO title. A good way to end 2020 for sure, and we’ll be here bright and early. Actually dark and early. Early, all the same. BLH will have live coverage.
Saturday, Jan. 2
DAZN, 3:00 pm ET, Ryan Garcia vs Luke Campbell, Rene Alvarado vs Roger Gutierrez, Felix Alvarado vs DeeJay Kriel. The one and only televised card for the week in the U.S., and the last we’ll have until Jan. 20 unless someone swoops in picking something up before then. This is traditionally a dead part of the year as name fighters — and most fighters in general — do not want to train over the holidays. But Garcia-Campbell had to get done after being moved from Dec. 5, and this was the date it got.
Early start time, too, with the card taking place at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, with limited fan attendance. Garcia-Campbell is a fantastic main event, a chance for Ryan Garcia to break out against a legit opponent, and a chance for Luke Campbell to not be someone’s stepping stone and make his own statement. The winner will have the interim WBC belt and right in line for a shot at Devin Haney, although it’s possible the WBC could then bump Teofimo Lopez to Mega Franchise champion, and Haney to Franchise champion if he doesn’t want to fight an ordered challenger, which is how Haney became WBC champ in the first place. But beyond all that, yeah, this is just a great, compelling fight on paper. I’m really, really looking forward to it.
The Alvarado brothers are defending belts. Rene has the WBA’s secondary “world” (regular) belt at 130, while Felix is the IBF champ at 108, and his fight with former 105-pound titlist Kriel is a really nice undercard matchup. Franchon Crews-Dezurn will also be in action in a non-title fight to shake rust. BLH will have live coverage.