Now it seems as though the plans of the champion have changed, with Panama's http://www.critica.com.pa, reporting that Ken Shiro's plan is to now defend his title against Panamanian fighter Gilberto Pedroza (18-3-2, 8) on December 30th in Japan.
For Ken Shiro the bout would serve as his second defense of the title, and would be a much easier bout, at least on paper than a rematch with Lopez, who gave Ken Shiro all he could handle in May. It would be more likea development defense than a true world class bout against a top foe, but that is perhaps when Ken Shiro needs after 2 razor thin wins against world class opponents.
Pedroza is relatively unknown outside of Latin America . He has fought in his native Panama in 21 of his 23 career bouts, whilst also having fought in Venezuela and Haiti. On he whole his competition has been relatively limited, but he has mixed with the likes of Leroy Estrada, Robert Barrera and Saul Estrada, who he beat last time out in what is his best win to date.
Although it's clearly a change of plans from the champion, and one yet to be confirmed by Ken Shiro or his team, it is a change that fits in with other rumours. Namely one that was leaked by former 2-time Japanese Bantamweight champion Kentaro Masuda (27-8, 15) [益田 健太郎], who revealed he would be fighting Takuma Inoue (9-0, 2) [井上 拓真] on his blog, and then deleted the blog post hours later. Both the Ken Shiro bout and the Takuma Inoue one would likely be part of a Fuji TV card, though we've yet to see any official news from the promoter being released for the card, with that expected to come incredibly soon.
Sadly rumours in regards to WBO Super Flyweight champion Naoya Inoue (14-0, 12) [井上 尚弥] hasn't been forth coming, with some suggestions being a lack of suitable dance partners will see him abort the plans to defend his title in December, potentially why Ken Shiro's bout has been brought forward so much.