Before hometown hero and WBO No. 1 featherweight contender Shakur Stevenson headlines against Alberto Guevara at Newark’s Prudential Center on Saturday evening (ESPN and ESPN Deportes, 10:30 p.m. ET), boxing fans will be treated to a card from Japan exclusively on ESPN+.
Rob Brant will make the second defense of his WBA middleweight world title against the man he defeated to win the belt, Ryota Murata, at EDION Arena Osaka in Osaka, Japan.
Brant (25-1, 17 KOs) upset Murata last October in Las Vegas, snatching the belt in a thrilling performance that saw him throw 1,262 punches, the second-most ever recorded by CompuBox in a middleweight bout. Murata (14-2, 11 KOs), who became a sporting hero in Japan after capturing Olympic gold at the 2012 London Olympics, has not fought since. Brant, meanwhile, defended his belt in February on his home turf with an ESPN-televised 11th-round TKO over the previously undefeated Khasan Baysangurov in Hinckley, Minnesota.
In the co-feature, Ken “The Amazing Boy” Shiro will make the sixth defense of his WBC light flyweight title against Filipino challenger Jonathan Taconing.
Shiro (15-0, 8 KOs), Japan’s longest-reigning current world champion, won the title May 20, 2017, with a majority decision over Ganigan Lopez. He went 3-0 in 2018, including a second-round knockout over Lopez in May on a card that streamed on ESPN+. In his last fight, Dec. 30 in Tokyo, he won a near-shutout decision over Saul Juarez. Taconing (28-3-1, 22 KOs) will be making his third attempt at the WBC light flyweight title. He lost a technical decision to Kompayak Porpramook in 2012 and a unanimous decision to Ganigan Lopez in 2016.