The Teiken fighter won the belt last year, when he narrowly over-came Kenichi Horikawa, and defended it 3 times with wins over Yuki Chinen, Atsuhi Aburada and Hayato Yamaguchi. That run of wins has seen him gain rankings with all 4 world title bodies and it's been clear for a while that he has his eyes on a world title shot.
At the moment no current champion has been linked too strong to Kimura but it's clear that he will be keeping his options open.
From what we under-stand his preferred option would be WBA champion Ryoichi Taguchi, who gave Kimura his sole stoppage loss back in 2011. That's a bout that would make sense on a number of levels, and could be staged on December 31st on Tokyo TV on a Watanabe promoted card, a card that is also expected to feature the next bout of Takashi Uchiyama. An other appealing option would be WBO champion Donnie Nietes, who is the longest reigning champion in the division and for many the top guy at 108lbs, the odds however that Kimura may be forced to wait longer for Nietes with several other fighters thought to be ready to offer solid money to face the Filipino.
Another option would be the WBC champion Pedro Guevara, who won the title in Japan against Akira Yaegashi at the end of 2014. Guevara's win against Yaegashi will have left him being a familiar figure in Japan and with Teiken's pockets they may be able to lure the Mexican back on the road for what would be a very tough bout for the Japanese fighter.
The final option with be a contest with the heavy handed, and very exciting, Javier Mendoza. Mendoza is the IBF champion and is a fighter who could make almost any fight exciting, though he may be more difficult to lure outside of Mexico and will instead be expected to face several straight forward voluntary defenses until the next mandatory is due, likely next year.
Prior to any world title fight we'll see Kimura in action on August 1st as he takes on Mexico's Jesus Faro (13-9, 8) in a stay busy fight on an an upcoming Teiken card.