Boxing: Fight Week Preview
By Gary Kittilsen
With the sports two biggest stars, Anthony Joshua and Canelo Alvarez, having made their triumphant and successful returns to the ring the past two weeks all of the mega fights for 2020 are now completed.
However, there are still three more notable cards to keep your eye on before 2020 comes to an end.
The final card of note in the United States takes place on, December 26, at the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall in Los Angeles, California, and will air on FOX.
The card is headlined by the undefeated 22-year-old Cuban phenom David Morrell Jr (3-0). Morrell Jr. currently holds the Interim WBA super-middleweight championship and takes a huge step up in competition in just his fourth professional fight against Mike Gavronski who sports a 26-3-1 record.
Gavronski, of Lockport, Illinois has wins over the likes of Brian Vera and Tommy Hughes and has also been in the ring with Tuareno Johnson and Jesse Hart. Gavronski is expected to present a considerable challenge for the undefeated Cuban.
Should the 22-year-old Morrell hand in another dominant performance, he could put himself in line for a world title fight in 2021, despite having just a handful of professional fights.
The event sports a solid undercard that features the comebacking former world title challenger, and fan-favourite, James Kirkland of Austin, Texas who takes on Juan Macias Montiel of Mexico in a must-win fight for both fighters.
Kirkland built up a big fan base due to his television-friendly style nearly a decade ago but has had his career set back by a combination of brutal knockouts and inactivity due to run-ins with the law. Undefeated welterweight prospect Jesus Alejandro Ramos of Casa Grande, Arizona will also be in action.
The other two major cards take place in Japan. First on December 26th at the Sumida City Gymnasium Located in Kinshi Park, former WBO super-featherweight champion Masayuki Ito (26-2-1) returns to the ring after a 15-month layoff to battle the unbeaten Hironori Mishiro in the main event.
Ito won a vacant world title when he dominated a then unbeaten Christopher Diaz back in July of 2018. He successfully defended his title once, before dropping a competitive decision to Jamel Herring in May of 2019.
Mishiro is (9-0-1) and has been moved along quite quickly. He last fought Yoshimitsu Kimura back in December of 2019 and eeked out a competitive split decision victory. The winner of this scrap should find himself back in the 130-pound world title picture.
The final card of the year takes place on New Year’s eve, at the Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo, and is headlined by an absolute can’t miss world title fight.
Four-division world champ Kaz Ioka (25-2) puts his WBO super-flyweight title against former undefeated flyweight champ, and pound for pound elite, Kosei Tanaka in an all Japanese showdown between two of the best little men in the world.
Tanaka is a seek and destroy knockout artist who won the WBO light-flyweight back in 2016 when he destroyed Moises Fuentes over five one-sided rounds. Then became a two-division world champ when he outpointed Sho Kimura for the WBO flyweight belt in September of 2018. A belt he successfully defended three times in 2019.
The Ito fight on New Year’s Eve marks his first fight at super-flyweight as he attempts to become a three-division world champion.