Japanese champion Omori holds an impressive record of 17 wins including 12 knockouts with only one defeat against current WBO champion Marlon Tapales last year. The 23 year old southpaw is a two time national champion but has yet to box outside of his home country, his fight against Haskins will be Omori’s first shot at a world title. 

This will be Haskins’ 3rd defence of his IBF title this year, defeating Ivan Morales by a wide points decision in May followed by a unanimous decision victory against former world champion and bitter rival Stuart Hall in September at the 02 Arena.  

The fight will be the main event on a nationally televised card in Japan that features 3 world title fights including the IBF Super Bantamweight title between exciting undefeated champion Jonathan Guzman and Japan’s Yukinori Ogunui. The WBA Flyweight title is also being disputed on the same evening between Kazuto Ioka of Japan and Yutthana Kaensa of Thailand.

Lee Haskins explains how he relishes the challenge of boxing in Japan:

“At this point in my career it’s all about having experiences, I’ve fought my last 2 opponents at home now it will be nice to soak up the atmosphere in Japan. I have boxed in Spain, Belgium, France and Morrocco so I’m no stranger to travel but each place brings something new and I look forward to seeing what Japan has to offer on New Year’s Eve.”

On the threat posed by his opponent Lee’s manager Chris Sanigar had this to say.

“We have watched Shohei Omori and we feel that Lee has the style to beat him, he is a big puncher and Lee will have to be careful especially boxing on Japanese soil. His (Omori’s) management team will be very confident in their man otherwise they wouldn’t have offered us the fight but we are also confident and hopefully it will be a fan friendly fight.”

UK television coverage of Lee’s world title defence will be confirmed in the coming weeks.