by Tamas Pradarics

Former junior flyweight world champion Pedro Guevara admits he had a tough time with Ken Shiro when the two had tango in Tokyo last month.

Guevara (30-3-1, 17 KOs) travelled to Japan in mid-October to challenge reigning WBC 108-pound belt holder Shiro (11-0, 5 KOs) but came up short on the cards by majority decision after a competitive 12-round fight.

The Mexican was the long-time mandatory challenger by the sanctioning body after he had lost his own version of the green-and-gold belt to Yu Kimura in November 2015 by way of a highly controversial split decision.

”Well, it was really a hard fight. Shiro is a strong champion. I started well and controlled the first couple of rounds but Ken became more aggressive in the middle of the fight,” said a disappointed Guevara recently to BoxingScene.com.

Though it seemed to be more of a tactical matchup between the two well-skilled pugilists, the bout had its share of difficulties for the challenger.

”In the tenth or eleventh round he got me with a hard punch to the stomach. Despite being really tired by the later rounds I still had a strong twelfth stanza. Unfortunately, though, the judges declared Shiro did more to earn the win.”

To the question why this late-round fatigue kicked in, Pedro told me he does not think it was a problem based on the lack of a proper preparation.

”No, no. The condition was excellent. Maybe the pace of the fight was too intense with me and my rival throwing too many punches. Imagine if I was not in a good condition I couldn’t have endured that body punch in the later rounds. But I endured it and finished the fight in competitive fashion,” declared the 28-year-old former champion.

Guevara was not shy to describe Shiro as a fighter based on his experiences during the twelve-round battle against the Japanese champion.

”I would say he has a 75% of power. He landed a painful hook on me on the body, but anyway I endured all his punches and was able to hurt him with some of my own. His footwork did not impress me because, after all, he stood in front of me in the second part of the bout. That means his footwork did not really work for him. Ken is a strong fighter, but he is also kind of inaccurate; many of his punches landed on my arms that normally does not get you points.”

The Mazatlan-based Guevara, who has already faced eight former or current champions during his close to ten years’ pro career, takes his loss as a man, however, he believes decisions like this one often go to the fighter who enjoys a hometown advantage.

”I feel it was a close decision. And that pretty much means the local fighter must be the winner. Maybe in my country the judges would have given me the decision. But I approve the decision because I was the away fighter and the fight was legitimately close,” concluded the Mexican pugilist.

You can reach Tamas Pradarics at pradaricst@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @TomiPradarics.