By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
The weather in Japan has been inexplicably fluctuating—hot like summer three days ago but cold like winter these two days. A couple of world title challengers arrived in Tokyo on Sunday, and both engaged in a public workout today (Monday) at the Teiken Gym.
WBC#1 light-flyweight and former titleholder Pedro Guevara (30-2-1, 17 KOs) from Mexico said, “I respect the new champion Ken Shiro, but will be victorious to bring back the belt that previously belonged to me to Mexico.” Guevara, an intellectual youngster who plans to be an attorney, seemed to deeply analyze his previous mistake in losing his belt to Yu Kimura via split nod here two years ago and prepare well to win it back. Kimura yielded the WBC belt to Mexican Ganigan Lopez, who forfeited it to Ken Shiro, indicating that the belt changed hands very busily.
Comment allez-vous? A tall and lanky Frenchman, European flyweight champ Thomas Masson (17-3-1, 5 KOs) also showed his first training here to the Japanese press and cooperated with an interview at the gym. The 5’7″ challenger, five years his senior at 27, said, “I know the champion Higa is 13-0, all by knockouts, but it isn’t easy to knock me out as I have good defense and great stamina. I have never hit the canvas. I wish to defeat Higa to become the new world champion.”
Higa’s manager, former world 108-pound champ Yoko Gushiken presented a French bread to Masson, who simply said, “Merci beaucoup.” Gushiken gave him a bread, but won’t deliver his pupil Higa’s belt to him.