Former WBA Super Bantamweight champion Akifumi Shimoda (28-3-2, 12) has had a funny few weeks. Originally he thought he would be fighting against Simpiwe Vetyeka (26-2, 16) on February 22nd at the "Ring of Gold" card, then unfortunately the WBA demanded that Vetyeka faced the unbeaten Nicholas Walters (23-0, 19). The WBA's demand saw Shimoda losing his big chance.
Thankfully Shimoda's promoter Teiken and American promoter Top Rank have managed to get Shimoda a fight on the card, and a high profile one, even if it's not a world title fight.
Shimoda, instead of fighting Vetyeka, will instead be in the ring with Filipino "Marvellous" Marvin Sonsona (17-1-1, 14), a former WBO Super Flyweight champion.
Sonsona, who won his world title back in September 2009, has been a man who has been frustrating to watch. He out grew the Super Flyweight division though failed to really make a mark on the Bantamweight division instead skipping 118 to fight at Super Bantamweight where he was beaten by Wilfredo Vazquez Jr in 4 rounds. Since that loss however Sonsona has strung together 3 straight wins.
For Shimoda things haven't been perfect either. He lost his world title in his first defense, travelling to the US where he was stopped by the gun shy Rico Ramos, since then he has gone 5-0-1 with a draw to Roli Gasca.
Whilst Shimonda v Sonsona may not be a world title bout it's still a title bout with the WBO international Featherweight title on the line, a title last held by Ukrainian sensation Vasyl Lomachenko. The winner will expect a lofty WBO world ranking at 126's and may well feel like they could end up in a world title fight by the end of the year.
This may not be a perfect contest, but it's a solid bout and makes "Rings of Gold" even more worthy of a watch with the card now looking very strong.
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