The October 7th bantamweight title fight between Naoya Inoue and Juan Carlos Payano will have some top-notch accompaniment courtesy of WBC Light Flyweight Champion Ken Shiro, who will defend his title in Yokohama against former champ Milan Melindo.
Shiro (13-0, 7 KO), nom de guerre of 26-year-old Kenshiro Teraji, narrowly edged Ganigan Lopez for the belt and likewise scraped by Pedro Guevara in his first defense. He’s been a little more authoritative since, most recently dispatching Lopez with a body shot two rounds into their rematch.
Melindo (37-3, 13 KO) enjoyed a solid reign as IBF champ, dispatching both Akira Yaegashi and Hekkie Budler, but came up short in a unification war against Ryoichi Taguchi last December. Taguchi wound up losing to Budler soon after, further proving that the transitive property is baloney.
It’s a shame we never got to see a unifier between Shiro and Taguchi, but this is a solid co-feature for the WBSS quarterfinal.