KEN SHIRO HALTS MELINDO, RETAINS WBC 108LB BELT


October 7, 2018

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN

Unbeaten baby-faced Japanese Ken Shiro (14-0, 8 KOs), 107.75, retained his WBC light-flyweight belt when he kept outjabbing ex-IBF ruler Milan Melindo (37-4, 13 KOs), 107.5, bloodied him with legal punches and finally halted him at 2:47 of the seventh round on Sunday in Yokohama, Japan. Ken, making his fourth defense since dethroning Mexican Ganigan Lopez last year,@appeared beneath the season 2 of WBSS, and finely outclassed and outpunched the shorter Filipino veteran.

The 26-year-old champ started displaying his favorite hit-and-run tactics with his constant jabs and shifty footwork, which effectively kept Melindo from coming close to him. The Filipino ex-champ, 30, had dispatched Akira Yaegashi in the very first round to impress our aficionados with his strength in the IBF unification title bout (between regular champ Yaegashi and interim titlist Melindo) last year, but couldnft show it against the artful dodger.

Melindo scored with a big overhand right to the face of the champ in round two, taking a point. But it was the first and last round he could dominate in the lopsided affair. After the fourth, the open scoring system indicated all 39-37 in favor of the defending champ.

Shiro, from the fifth, accelerated his attack and whipped him with quick combinations, which opened a gash on the left optic of Milando midway in round six. Turning loose in the next session, Ken caught up with the bloodied Filipino, whose cut was then examined by the ring physician. He advised the referee Laurence Cole (US) to stop it to save the loser from further bleeding then and there.

Nathan Palmar, Kevin Scott, David Sutherland (all from US) all tallied 59-55 in favor of The Amazing Boy, Kenfs nickname.

The jubilant winner, who registered latest three defenses all by knockout or stoppage, said, gI wish to stay in this class and aim to reach and break Mr. Yoko Gushikenfs record of thirteen defenses. Should the WBSS expand its tournaments to the 108-pound division, Ifm very much willing to participate in it.h

The crestfallen loser said, gKenfs jabs were fast and strong, so I couldnft come in close to him. I could go on a bit more, but thatfs the refereefs decision.h

Ken, whose real name is Kenshiro Teraji with former OPBF light heavyweight champ, 6f3h and 49-year-old Hisashi (20-1-3, 11 KOs until 2000) as manager/trainer, may sophisticate his trademark strategy of hitting without getting hit. In every fight he has shown his technical improvement.

Promoter: Ohashi Promotions in association with Teiken Promotions.

WBC supervisor: Surapote Phongjivanich (Thailand).

(10-7-2018)


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