By Hisao Adachi, photos by Naoki Fukada
Japanese world champions Ryota Murata, Daigo Higa and Ken Shiro, will defend their world titles against challengers Emanuele Blandamura of Italy, Cristofer Rosales of Nicaragua and Ganigan Lopez of Mexico, in a card that will be organized on April 15 at the Arena Yokohama, in Yokohama, Japan.
The card will be put together by Teiken Promotions, which is run by Hall of Fame member Akihiko Honda.
Murata is the current "regular" middleweight champion of the World Boxing Association (WBA). He won the title in his previous fight against Frenchman Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam in their rematch, and now gets ready for the first defense against Italian challenger Blandamura, who has a record of 27-2, 5 knockouts
Murata, however, will arrive with a record of 13-1, 10 knockouts. His only defeat was against N'Jikam himself, in a controversial May decision in 2017, which provoked a direct rematch.
Daigo Higa, on the other hand, is the current flyweight champion of the World Boxing Council (WBC). He has a record of 15-0, with 15 knockouts, and in his last defense against former world champion Moisés Fuentes, he won by knockout in the first round.
Rosales, on the other hand, has a record of 26-3, with 17 knockouts. She was scheduled to fight this Friday in Chinandega, Nicaragua, but the fight was canceled due to an alleged injury to one of his knees. Rosales has a three win run against Mexican Martin Martin Tecuapetla, against Mohammed Obbadi in Italy and against Alexander Taylor in Nicaragua. He is the WBC Latin and international champion.
The third world title fight of this evening will be starred by Shiro, who goes up against Ganigan Lopez.
Shiro snatched the title from Lopez himself in May of 2017, and since then has successful defenses against Pedro Guevara and Gilberto Pedroza, to raise his record to 12-0, with 6 knockouts. Lopez, on the other hand, has a record of 28-7, with 17 knockouts. And he has not fought since that defeat suffered against Shiro last year.