By David Kosaros
The rebuilding job of Akifumi Shimoda continues on August 4, with the former WBA World super bantamweight champion headlining an interesting card at the famed Korakuen Hall in a non-title ten rounder.
For the 27-year old Shimoda (25-3-1, 11KOs), this will be the third fight in his recovery since a disastrous US debut back in July of last year seen him forfeit his newly acquired ‘world’ title to the-then unbeaten Rico Ramos. Still ranked in the top ten by both the WBA and WBC, the Japanese speedster will be hoping another title shot is in the offing soon.
Standing in the opposite corner on the night will be OPBF #10 Richard Betos (19-5-1, 7KOs). This is the first time super bantamweight Betos, 25, will have fought outside of his native Philippines, although he brings a five fight winning streak – admittedly against limited opposition – into the fight with him.
The supporting bout to the main event sees JBC #2 light welterweight Hayato Hokazono (15-2-1, 8KOs) keeping busy against fellow countryman Hiroyuki Ukawa (10-8-1, 8KOs) in a scheduled eight rounder. The 25-year old Hokazono has stopped his last four opponents and the smart money will be on him extending that streak against Ukawa, four years his senior.
Also on the undercard is an intriguing fight that pits top prospect Kenichi Ogawa (8-0, 6KOs) against Yuki Miyoshi (9-2-2, 7KOs) over eight rounds. Both fighters have experienced competing for the All-Japan Rookie title, with Ogawa, 24, impressively winning the championship at super featherweight last year. Miyoshi, on the other hand, had to retire with a broken jaw in his lightweight clash with KO specialist Shuhei Tsuchiya back in 2010, and the 25-year old has had mixed results since then.
David Kosaros covers boxing for checkhookboxing.com