One of 2020’s bigger upsets slipped through the cracks on Memorial Day weekend when unheralded light flyweight Esteban Bermudez welcomed WBA “world” champion Carlos Canizales back from a two-year layoff by smashing him in six rounds. Now, he’ll get the opportunity to topple another elite, as the WBA has ordered a unification match against “super” champion Hiroto Kyoguchi.
Bermudez (14-3-2, 10 KO) was three fights removed from a wide loss to Sunny Edwards victim Rosendo Hugo Guarneros and coming off a technical draw with an 11-10-2 opponent when he took on Canizales, who hadn’t seen action since scoring dominant victories over Lu Bin and Sho Kimura. Canizales was unquestionably one of the more accomplished 108-pounders in the game and Bermudez demolished him; even with the rust, that’s quite the feat.
Kyoguchi (15-0, 10 KO) has thrice defended the belt he took from Hekkie Budler in 2018, beating Tanawat Nakoon and Tetsuya Hisada before the pandemic hit. He finally returned to the ring in March against Axel Aragon Vega, who sadly broke his hand in the fifth round of an absolute firefight.
Matchroom has been pushing hard for Kyoguchi to face WBO champ Elwin Soto, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.