by Tamas Pradarics
In the last couple of weeks, a lot has happened in the light flyweight division. We have witnessed how Japan owned the 108-pound category after challenger Ken Shiro unseated Mexican Ganigan Lopez for the WBC title on Saturday, May 20. On Sunday, Milan Melindo shockingly stopped former three division king Akira Yaegashi in the first round to get the IBF strap. With the win, the Filipino Melindo also punctuated an end to a short-lived, all-inclusive Japanese domination at 108 pounds.
Kosei Tanaka also defended the WBO version of the title against dangerous puncher Angel Acosta on the same weekend. Now Tanaka’s team is trying to set a unification bout with WBA belt holder Ryoichi Taguchi.
We included all four major titlists above, although we yet to mention the best fighter in the division.
Pedro Guevara is universally recognised as the number-one guy among the 108-pounders regardless of the fact he does not have a belt at the moment. The Mexican last fought a week before the tumultuous May 20 weekend and grabbed an important win over a gutsy Oswaldo Novoa by way of a split decision.
Guevara had to bring his A game to the ring to be able to outlast the former strawweight titleholder in a tough eight-round encounter.
”Well, it was a very hard fight against an ex-champion in Novoa. Oswaldo has heavy hands. He is a real puncher. But [fortunately] we knew how to handle his style,” told Guevara to BoxingScene.com.
The Mazatlan, Sinaloa-based fighter, who will turn 28 in the coming days, suffered a cut over his left eye that needed to get stitched after the bout.
The cut is healing well and Pedro can start spar early next month. The only question is which direction he would like to follow in an exciting light flyweight division.
The Mexican once held the WBC title until he had to leave it in Japan following a highly controversial split decision loss to Yu Kimura in November 2015. The Japanese Kimura handed the belt to Ganigan Lopez in his first defense. Guevara has been the mandatory challenger by the Mexican-based organisation for a long time now. He was trying to finalise a bout with Lopez but now has to reschedule his plans after Ganigan lost to the inexperienced Shiro.
”I think it was a very close fight between Lopez and Shiro. In this case, the judges gave the victory to the local fighter in a bout the decision could have got either way.”
Guevara had his career-best win in Japan in 2014 when he stopped Akira Yaegashi in the seventh round with a left hook to the liver in a war of attrition. However, he got beaten – at least on the cards – in his next appearance on the island. Despite his mixed feelings regarding the judging habits in Japan, Pedro will most likely need to travel again to get his well-deserved mandatory shot.
”I am a fighter so I have to go to the places where the opportunities are. In this case, I am also a challenger. I have to take this challenge because I am looking for the opportunity and that means I have to travel until I can achieve my goal,” said a hungry and determined Guevara, who also have plans about his distant future.
”If I can win the WBC title belt again I want to have unifications with the others champs. That could be interesting because people want to see big fights with the best fighters involved from all over the world. But first I want the Green-and-Gold Belt. And I am going for it.”