After Sho Kimura scored an upset victory over Chinese star Zou Shiming to win the WBO flyweight title in China, Kimura will return to the country where he won his title for his next fight almost exactly one year later.
According to reports, Kimura will make his second world title defense against Froilan Saludar on July 27 in Qingdao, China.
After winning the WBO title against Shiming, Kimura successfully retained his title against Toshiyuki Igarashi on the annual New Year’s Eve boxing card in Japan, stopping Igarashi in the ninth round. Since losing his debut fight in 2013, Kimura has gone unbeaten in his last 18 fights. Kimura has been ranked on Fightful's Boxing Rankings since its inception, currently standing at No. 5 in the flyweight rankings.
This will be Saludar’s first world title challenge, but it is by no means his first time facing a top boxer. Saludar’s only two losses came to rising bantamweight contender Takuma Inoue and to former world champion McWilliams Arroyo. Since the loss to to Inoue in 2016, Saludar has won all five of his next fights by knockout. Four of those knockout wins came in in the fifth round or less. Saludar is ranked in the top 10 in the WBA, WBO and IBF's official rankings at 112 lbs.
A total of four fights are currently scheduled for the card on July 27, including a fight between Wulan Tuolehazi and Watana Phenbaan for the interim WBO Asia Pacific flyweight title.