Just a day later, at the very same venue, we learned who his next challenger would be, as Nobuyuki Shindo (19-4-1, 8) [新藤寛之] and over-came Cobra Suwa (19-13-2, 11) [コブラ諏訪] and claimed his place as the mandatory challenger to Inoue's Japanese title.
Shindo, a former Welterweight champion, showed off his movement and size early on against Suwa. The lanky and rangy Shindo used his jab well and boxed on the move against the slow and aggressive pressure of Suwa, who's legs looked every bit of their 37 years. Suwa tried to aply pressure but in the first round it did little other than make life easy for Shindo. In round 2 Shindo began to land some big right hands, though to his credit Suwa did intensify his pressure and had some success with Shindo in the corner. That success seemed to continue early in round 3 until a shot from Shindo opened up a cut on Suwa's eye. The bout on for a few moments, but was quickly taken to the ring side doctor who stopped the bout, and Shindo got the stoppage win.
For Shindo the win is a big one, opening up a title fight, but a loss to Inoue in 2018 will likely be the end for Shindo as a title level fighter. For Suwa the loss today could well be the end for his long career.