For the second year in a row, Ken Shiro emerged victorious on a boxing card on the traditional New Year's Eve boxing card in Japan.
Shiro dominated former minimumweight world title challenger Saul Juarez by unanimous decision (120-108, 119-109, 119-109) to retain his WBC light flyweight title. The win marked Shiro's fifth world title defense since winning the belt in 2017.
The fight was a one-sided bout that saw Shiro establish his superior boxing abilities almost from the start. Shiro primarily utilized the jab to keep Juarez in check while mixing things up with various punches to win the fight. Shiro tried to find his fourth consecutive stoppage win, but Juarez proved to be too tough, having been knocked out once in his nine losses as a pro.
The 26-year-old Shiro had been one of boxing's busiest champions since defeating Ganigan Lopez to win the WBC title in May 2017. After beating Lopez, Shiro would go on to retain his title five times, including beating Lopez in a rematch and former world champion Milan Melindo by TKO in his last fight.
The loss continued Juarez's run of inconsistency when it came to in-ring success. Juarez unsuccessfully challenged for the WBC minimumweight title in 2016 and sports a 1-5-1 record in his last seven fights.
The fight was the first of three world title fights that took place on the Ota-City General Gymnasium. The other two fights, Takuma Inoue vs. Petch Sor Chitapattana and Masayuki Ito vs. Evgeny Chuprakov, were streamed in the United States on ESPN+.