Earlier this week the IBF issues their latest ranking update and whilst their were numerous changes two new inclusions stood out as being particularly notable.
One of those was recently crowned OPBF Flyweight champion Daigo Higa (10-0, 10) [比嘉 大吾] who has been rewarded for his recent stoppage win over Ardin Diale by being ranked #13. The hard hitting Shirai Gushiken Sports Gym prospect has left a destruction of bodies in his wake and it seems a worthy reward from the IBF who will have been impressed by his destruction of Diale, and will almost certainly have looked at his victories over the likes of Kongfah CP Freshmart and Renren Tesorio.
We know Higa's team are talking about getting him a world title fight before the year is over and IBF champion Johnriel Casimero has shown a willingness to travel so may be lured to Japan to face Higa, if the moment is right, though Higa's team maybe expecting other options to become available in the coming weeks, and we wouldn't be that shocked if he actively chased WBA champion Kazuto Ioka instead, if Ioka is successful on July 20th against Kevin Lara.
The other notable including was Light Flyweight hopeful Ken Shiro (7-0, 4) [拳 四朗] , the current WBC Youth and Japanese champion at 108lbs. Ken Shiro has been ranked #15 by the IBF at Light Flyweight and although we know his next bout won't be a world title bout, their could be one by the end of the year. We know Ken Shiro will be in the ring on August 7th, as he looked to defend the Japanese title and win the OPBF title as he faces Toshimasa Ouchi (20-8-3, 6), but there is a good chance he could be ready for a world title fight in December, potentially against IBF champion Akira Yaegashi.
Ken Shiro's ranking might well be at the bottom of the top 15 but a win over Ouchi in August could propel him higher, as could other results, and it's possible he could be in the top 10 by the September update leaving the door open for both title fights and eliminators in the near future.
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