The December 7 Showtime Championship Boxing card from the Barclays Center is complete with a third title bout to be televised.
Showtime announced that super bantamweight contenders Marlon Tapales and Ryosuke Iwasa will compete for the interim IBF belt to open the card from Brooklyn.
The interim title was created as current IBF champion Daniel Roman, who also holds the WBA "Super" title, is recovering from an injury that prevented him from defending his titles against Murodjon Akhmadaliev in September. Roman is expected to be back in early 2020, but likely going up against Akhmadaliev once more. This meant that Iwasa, who has been the IBF's mandatory challenger since February, would have had to wait more than a year to get his title opportunity.
Iwasa won his shot at the IBF title with a technical decision victory over Cesar Juarez in the 10th round after Juarez was unable to continue fighting due to a cut. Iwasa held the IBF world title from 2017 to 2018 before losing it to TJ Doheny in August 2018.
Tapales has won his last 12 fights, which included a fairly brief run as the WBO bantamweight champion. Tapales lost his title on the scales in what would have been his first title defense going up against Shohei Omori in 2017. After losing his WBO title, Tapales has fought above bantamweight, winning his last three bouts.
In addition to the third title bout on the Showtime card, the rest of the untelevised undercard was unveiled, featuring a number of rising prospects and contenders in action. Below are the fights that were also confirmed for the December 7 card:
- Immanuwel Aleem vs. Ronald Ellis
- Duke Micah vs. Joseph Ambo
- Louisa Hawton vs. Lorraine Villalobos: Interim Female WBC Strawweight title
- Arnold Gonzalez vs. TBA
- Steven Torres vs. Daniel Franco
- Burley Brooks vs Amon Rashidi
The card will be headlined by Jermall Charlo defending his WBC middleweight title against Dennis Hogan. The co-main event is Chris Eubank Jr. facing Matt Korobov for the interim WBA middleweight title.