A fight between WBC 108-pound titleholder Ken Shiro and mandatory challenger Jonathan Taconing has been officially announced, and will take place on July 12 in Osaka, Japan, part of the Rob Brant vs Ryota Murata rematch card.
No word that I’ve seen as to whether or not it will air on the ESPN+ stream in the US, but here’s hoping.
The 27-year-old Ken Shiro (15-0, 8 KO) turned pro just under five years ago and quickly moved up the ranks at 108. In his sixth pro fight in 2015, he won the Japanese 108-pound title, and picked up the OPBF regional title two fights later in 2016. It was in his 10th pro fight in 2017 that he won a majority decision over Ganigan Lopez to claim the WBC belt.
Since then, he’s made five successful defenses, beating Pedro Guevara, Gilberto Pedroza, Lopez in a rematch, Milan Melindo, and Saul Juarez.
Taconing (28-3-1, 22 KO) is a 32-year-old Filipino veteran who’s been a pro since 2007. He got his first world title shot back in 2012, losing a technical decision to Kompayak Porpramook in Thailand, the fight stopped in the fifth round. He got a second chance in 2016, losing a decision to Ganigan Lopez in Mexico City.
Since the defeat to Lopez, Taconing has gone 6-0, though the level of opposition hasn’t exactly been world class. The southpaw is a solid fighter, but will be a large underdog against Ken Shiro, who is widely considered the top fighter in the division.