Boxing fans will find the calendar light as the year closes out, but in Japan, a series of shows that features seven World Championship fights and a pair of fighters that are currently ranked #1 in their weight classes. As we enter fight week, 5Dimes Sportsbook has posted lines for several of the bouts in Japan already, and more will likely be posted closer to fight time. The theme could be termed “Japan vs Latin America” as Japanaese fighters will be facing competition from Nicaragua, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia among others. Tuesday, December 29th sees a Light Flyweight 12-round bout for the IBF World belt at the Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo, Japan that has the titleholder Javier Mendoza (24-2-1) a favorite heading into the fight, paying at (-215), while challenger Akira Yaegashi (22-5) is returning at (+170). There is no over/under on the bout as of yet. Yaegashi has held world titles in the weight class below (105 lbs) and above (112 lbs) but a world title at 108 lbs has eluded him. This is a motivation for the 32-year old Yaegashi, who knows a world title in a third weight class will raise his stock considerably. He has a tall order ahead of him as Mendoza is eight years younger and he is on an 11-fight winning streak that has seen him knock out nine opponents. It is however the first trip outside of Mexico for Mendoza, and the long trip has affected other Mexican fighters in the past. The main event of the show features #1 ranked Super Flywieght Naoya Inoue (8-0) as he takes on Warlito Parrenas (24-6-1). At just 22 years old, Inoue is considered a phenom and he has held world titles in two weight classes already as a pro. With all of this following a long and decorated amateur career, he will likely be a huge favorite over Parrenas, who hails from the Philippines. The Edion Arena in Osaka, Japan will see a seven-fight boxing card on Thursday, December 31st that sees (18-1) WBA World Flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka defend his title against Juan Carlos Reveco (36-2) of Argentina. Right now the 26-year old Ioka is favored returning (-175) with Reveco returning at (+145). Ioka won the world title from Reveco in their first meeting back in April of 2015 by a Majority Decision. He has since defended the belt once, and Reveco has also won a bout in between as a set-up to the rematch. Also on Thursday in Tokyo at the Ota-City Gym #1 ranked Super Featherweight Takashi Uchiyama (23-0-1) faces Oliver Flores (27-1-2). Uchiyama is making another defense of his “Super World” title, and he is followed by swirling rumors that a win here for Uchiyama will lead to him making his debut outside of Japan, where he has fought exclusively his whole career. The Ota-City Gym card also sees WBA World Light Flyweight titleholder Ryoichi Taguchi (22-2-1) defending his belt against Luis De La Rosa (24-5-1) of Colombia. Both of those fights could get lines up at 5Dimes as the fights get closer.
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