By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Fast-moving and quick-punching Ken Shiro (11-0, 5 KOs), 107.5, kept his WBC light-flyweight belt as he showed his second wind, exclusively battered the midsection of former champ Pedro Guevara (30-3-1, 17 KOs), 107.5, and earned a majority decision over twelve hard-fought rounds on Sunday in Tokyo, Japan. The official tallies were as follows: Mike Ross (US) 116-112, Jun-Bae Lim (Korea) both for Ken, Alejandro Rochin (Mexico) 114-114. The referee was Hector Afu (Panama).
Ken, who dethroned Ganigan Lopez this May, scored his initial defense against the more experienced and highly regarded ex-champ Guevara, who demonstrated his aggressiveness in the first four sessions, leading on points on the open scoring system—40-36, 39-37 twice for the Mexican.
Ken, however, shifted his target to the breadbasket of Guevara from the fifth, which seemed so successful that he overcame the deficits on points after the eighth—77-75 for Ken, 78-74 for Guevara and 76-76. Guevara sustained a cut over the left eyebrow in the fourth and another gash over the right optic in round six—both by Ken’s legal shots. Guevara gamely fought on despite bleeding from the lacerations.
It became a four-round fight. Ken kept on battering Guevara’s body to have him slowing down though Guevara occasionally scored with sporadic combinations to the onrushing champ. Ken apparently dominated the final session to confirm his victory and successful defense.
The baby-faced champ, three years his junior at 25, said, “I’ll fight ex-champ Ganigan Lopez next, and will show my improvement fight by fight. Today I had a tough game, but it’s a good lesson for me. I’ll become stronger with my father (his manager/trainer, ex-OPBF 175-pound champ Hisashi).
Promoter: Teiken Promotions.
WBC supervisor: Mike George (US).