On Thursday Japanese fans will see fast rising youngster Ken Shiro (6-0, 3) [拳 四朗] defend his Japanese Light Flyweight title against former world title challenger Atsushi Kakutani (17-4-1, 10) [角谷 淳志]. The bout will be Ken Shiro's first defense of the title, but it seems that he has bigger aspirations for later this year.
Ahead of the bout with Kakutani the champion has revealed that he has been sparring with WBA champion Ryoichi Taguchi (23-2-1, 10) [田口良一] and that training with the champion has made him feel like he is close to ready for a world title bout.
From what we understand the BMB gym fighter is looking at getting his first world title shot before the end of the year, and although not ready yet we do suspect that Ken Shiro is heading towards a shot and isn't talking for the sake of talking.
If he is to get a world title fight we may well see the youngster facing off against Taguchi or fellow Japanese fighter Akira Yaegashi (23-5, 12) [八重樫東], the current IBF champion, and with Kosei Tanaka (6-0, 3) [田中恒成] heading to Light Flyweight as well it does seem like the division is set to become red hot for Japanese fans, and with so many brilliant fighters at the weight it really could be the division to follow.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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