Last year we saw the professional debut of Japanese youngster Ken Shiro (3-0, 2) who looked sensational when he out boxed Indonesian veteran Heri Amol and scarcely broke sweat in a very 1-sided 6 round contest. It was clear that his team had a lot of belief in him and knew they had a potentially special little fighter on their hands. In his second fight Shiro took a step down in class and dismantled Thailand's Phuwanai Wor Surapol in what was essentially a show case performance against a horribly over-matched foe.
Today the youngster stepped up, in a big way, and really shined as he scored the best win of his career so far and stopped the previously unbeaten Katsunori Nagamine (10-1, 6) in 7 rounds. It was the coming out performance that Shiro team knew he was capable of, though few believe he was ready for.
From the opening round Shiro seemed faster and sharper than his more experienced foe. Although it was Shiro coming up in weight he never seemed bothered by the supposed size issue and instead relied on his own strength, speed and skill, which were all too much for Nagamine.
To his credit Nagamine did try and change things. He had success in rounds 3 and 5 though those successes were short lived and scarcely came without a retaliatory attack back from Shiro. Unfortunately Nagamine the more aggressive he got the reckless he became and in round 6 a solid counter left Nagamine with a cut above his left eye. It was a bad cut, especially for a fighter trailing on the cards and really chasing the fight.
The cut was worsened early in round 7 by the sharp aggressive shots of Shiro and soon afterwards the fight was stopped with Shiro notching up his biggest and most impressive so far.
For Nagamine this is clearly a set back however the 2012 All-Japan Flyweight Rookie of the Year really did come up against an exceptional fighter who looks almost certain to move into title fights before the year is out. The future for Shiro is going to be very interesting. Not only is he a talented fighter going places quickly but he also has a serious decision to make about whether his future lies at Flyweight, where he fought today, or Light Flyweight, which appears a more natural weight though one he will likely outgrow in the next 12-18 months.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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