By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda (to come soon)
Fast-moving and quick-punching, unbeaten Japanese Ken Shiro (16-0, 9 KOs), 107.75, successfully made his sixth defense of the WBC light-flyweight belt when he swept the first three rounds with his hit-and-run tactics and scored a fine TKO victory over top-ranked Filipino Jonathan Taconing (28-4-1, 22 KOs), 108, at 1:00 into the fourth session on Friday in Osaka, Japan. The baby-faced champ, 27, kept whipping the hard-punching but less accurate Filipino from the start as he made best use of his faster footwork that obviously kept Taconing from connecting vaunted solid southpaw lefts. Taconing occasionally tried to connect with his roundhouse lefts to the shifty champ, who, however, continually made himself a moving target. The third saw an accidental butt that produced a gash over the right eyebrow of Taconing with a point deducted from the uncut champ due to the WBC rules. In round four, Ken sharply connected with a vicious right followed by a solid left hook, which badly decked the game Filipino to the deck. Taconing managed to raise himself and attempted to go on, but his legs apparently betrayed his fighting spirit with referee Fran Garza (US) duly calling a halt at a right time.