Right before Naoya Inoue scored a “Knockout of the Year” candidate in the main event of a card at the Yokohama Arena in Japan, Ken Shiro turned in a virtuoso performance in the co-main event.
Shiro stopped former world champion Milan Melindo late in the seventh round to retain his WBC light flyweight title. Shiro has now made four successful title defenses with his last three defenses ending in a stoppage or knockout.
The story of the fight was Shiro using his left jab to keep Melindo from attacking on the inside and getting any meaningful offense in the first few rounds. Shiro started to mix things up from the fourth round by landing combinations to Melindo. The 26-year-old Shiro landed numerous right hands to stun Melindo and increased his activity as the fight progressed. It now got to the point where Melindo was simply defending and not throwing any punches and with less than 20 seconds remaining in the seventh round, the fight got stopped.
This was the first time in Melindo's career that he got stopped, dropping his record to 37-4. This is Melindo's second consecutive defeat as his last fight, which took place on the last December in Japan, saw him lose to Ryoichi Taguchi in a light flyweight unification fight.
The fight was the co-main event to the World Boxing Super Series bantamweight quarterfinal fight between WBA "regular" champion Naoya Inoue and former titleholder Juan Carlos Payano. The fight ended with Inoue knock out Payano in just 70 seconds.