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WBA light flyweight champ Ioka to fight on New Year’s Eve

Kyodo

Kazuto Ioka will defend his WBA light flyweight title for a third time against fourth-ranked Nicaraguan Felix Alvarado, his gym said Wednesday.

The fight will take place at Osaka’s Bodymaker Colosseum on Dec. 31. WBA minimumweight champion Ryo Miyazaki, who is looking to move up to light fly, will fight Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr. of Thailand in a light fly nontitle eight-rounder.

Ioka faces a tricky opponent in Alvarado, who has an unbeaten record of 18-0 (15 KOs), but he said he hopes to rise to the occasion.

“I want to show Kazuto Ioka at his absolute strongest this year,” he told a press conference.

Miyazaki, who has no immediate plans to give up his minimumweight belt, said, “This is an important fight leading toward the big ambitions I have.

“If I don’t fight with the same determination as though it were a world title match, then there will be pitfalls.”