Despite the pull out from Akiyama it was announced that Shibata would still fight on the scheduled date, March 24th, though would be featuring in a non-title contest.
Sadly given the late notice it was clear that Shibata wouldn't be up against a notable opponent. Credit however need to go to the promoters however as they have managed to get a former Indonesian national champion as the replacement opponent to Akiyama.
Unfortunately though the replacement opponent, Michael Speed Sigarlaki (15-13-2, 13), was an Indonesian champion at Super Featherweight and this will be his first bout as a Middleweight. Sigarlaki has fought as high as Welterweight before but is expected to be dwarfed by the tall Shibata. Thankfully however fans will still get to see Shibata in action and that is always a joy.
Yasuyuki Akiyama suffers injury, out of title fight with Akio Shibata
(Image courtesy of http://www.watanabegym.com)