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Monday, December 30, 2013
New Year's Eve cards in Japan

By Dan Rafael

There's that famous moment during the epic first Arturo Gatti-Micky Ward fight when, after the hellacious ninth round, it appeared as though the fight was going to be stopped in Gatti's corner.

Referee Frank Cappuccino put the confusion to rest, telling both combatants in the center of the ring, "Fight ain't over! Fight ain't over!"

So although Tuesday is New Year's Eve, it must be said that as far as the boxing schedule goes, "Year ain't over! Year ain't over!"

In fact, as has become something of a tradition, there will be two New Year's Eve world-title cards taking place in Japan.

In Tokyo, there two junior lightweight title bouts are scheduled. Takashi Uchiyama (20-0-1, 17 KOs) will defend his version of the 130-pound crown against Japanese countryman Daiki Kaneko (19-2-3, 12 KOs), and Japanese southpaw Takashi Miura (26-2-2, 19 KOs) will defend his slice of the title against Mexico's Dante "Crazy" Jardon (24-3, 20 KOs).

About 250 miles away in Osaka, junior flyweight titlist Kazuto Ioka (13-0, 9 KOs) of Japan will defend his title against Felix Alvarado (18-0, 15 KOs) of Nicaragua. On the undercard, Japan's Ryo Miyazaki (20-0-3, 11 KOs), who recently vacated his strawweight world title in order to move up in weight, will face Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr. (22-2, 14 KOs) of Thailand in a junior flyweight nontitle fight.