A week ago we reported that it seemed likely Japan's Atsushi Kakutani (15-4-1, 8) was set to get a surprise world title shot on April 11th against WBC Light Flyweight champion Pedro Guevara (24-1-1, 16). As it's turned out it won't be Kakutani getting a fight with Guevara, instead it will be unbeaten Filipino puncher Richard Claveras (12-0-2, 12), a free swinging Filipino banger who has stopped his last 10 foes in a combined 22 rounds!
Claveras' run of results has seen him claim the WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Flyweight title and make 3 defenses of the belt. They have however come at a low level and his most notable wins to date have come over journeyman Rodel Tejares, a 2nd round TKO, and JC Francisco, who managed to survive into round 8 with Claveras last November.
Although a potent puncher at the lower levels of the Filipino domestic scene it's hard to know what Claveras will manage at a higher level. His competition so far has been poor and although he'll be confident, given his form, this is a massive step up in class and has come with very short notice.
On paper Claveras is a better opponent that Kakutani, in reality neither will be expected to do much to really challenger Guevara who looked brilliant when he claimed the title at the end of 2015, with a stoppage victory against Akira Yaegashi, and appears to have developed into a genuinely top class fighter since his sole loss to John Riel Casimero. The Mexican world champion has shown all the traits of a man likely to hold his title for a very long time and we can't really image his reign coming to and end here.
Interestingly Claveras is currently ranked #26 by the WBC so expect that to change, massively, between now and fight night.
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