New Faces: Ken Shiro
Hometown: Uji, Japan
Weight class: Junior flyweight
Height/reach: 5-foot-4½ (164 cm)/65 inches (165 cm)
Amateur record: 58-16 (20 KOs)
Turned pro: 2014
Pro record: 7-0, (4 KOs)
Trainer: Hisashi Teraji
Manager: Takeo Imamura
Promoter: Hisashi Teraji
Best night of pro career: Shiro considers one fight to be his best to date for two significant reasons:
“It is the bout with Kenichi Horikawa for the Japan light flyweight title on December 27, 2015,” Shiro told RingTV.com through Tomoyuki Kataoka. “Because of my win in that bout, I became the Japanese champion and the bout was selected as the best bout of Japan in 2015.”
Worst night of pro career: At this point, Shiro is very happy with all his performances.
“I have no worst bout in my professional career,” he said.
Next fight: The Japanese youngster will continue his rapid progression when he again steps up, this time to face seasoned veteran Toshimasa Ouchi on Monday, Aug. 8.
“Since the bout will be held for not only the Japanese title but also the OPBF title, I cannot wait to fight,” he explained. “For your information, if I win the bout, I will be the first OPBF champion whose father is also an ex-OPBF champion.
The bout will be shown on boxingraise.com, a new streaming website opened in late June.
Ouchi, 30, became a pro in 2003 and has gone 20-8-3 with 6 knockouts. His best result is a draw with Masayuki Kuroda for the National title in 2012. Another significant fight on his resume is a seventh-round stoppage loss to current WBA 108-pound titlist Ryoichi Taguchi back in 2010. More recently, in 2013, Ouchi lost an eight-round majority decision to Horikawa.
Why he’s a prospect: Shiro was a well-respected amateur. The highlight came in 2013 when he won the junior flyweight championship at the National Sports Festival.
He has sparred with WBA junior flyweight beltholder Ryoichi Taguchi and former WBO strawweight titlist Kosei Tanaka, with whom he enjoys a rivalry.
The young up-and-comer considers his best weapon to be his left jab, from which he sets up his attacks.
Shiro appears to be a quick learner. He was recently elevated to No. 10 in THE RING’s ratings at 108 pounds. He’s currently ranked by the IBF at No. 15, while a win vs. Ouchi should see him improve his WBC ranking of No. 18 and maybe crack the top 15.
Shiro – whose real name is Kenshiro Teraji but goes by Ken Shiro – is managed and promoted by his father Hisashi Teraji, a former Japanese national champion who also held the OPBF light heavyweight title in a decade-long career that saw him retire in 2000 with a record of 20-1-3 (11 KOs).
Teraji feels his son is already at a high level: “He is always ready to challenge for a world title.”
Why he’s a suspect: It is still early in Shiro’s career; he has only boxed 40 rounds as a pro.
When asked what he needs to improve upon to reach his goals, he said, “I should upgrade my speed and power.”
Shiro is yet to be pushed and tested as a pro. That will come soon enough, but it speaks volumes about his talent that in just his eighth pro fight he will fight for the OPBF title and already has the Japanese national title in his possession.
His father agrees there are things he can improve.
“He should upgrade his power,” said Teraji Sr. “In order to do so, he has been training his body for two years.”
Story lines: Shiro was born in Joyo, in the Kyoto region of Japan. His father was a boxer but Shiro, who also has an older brother, initially played soccer in elementary school and then tennis in junior high. He became interested in boxing when he was 15, found he had a natural aptitude for the sport and participated in nationwide amateur boxing events.
He looks up to Manny Pacquiao and his goal is simple: “My aim is to win a world championship and to keep it for a long time.”
Shiro is not married and doesn’t have any children at this point. He says he loves drinking Japanese sake and on holiday he likes to go fishing with friends. He graduated from the Kansai University in Osaka with a degree in Health and Well-being.
Aug. 3 – Heri Amol – UD 6
Oct. 19 – Phuwanai Wor Surapol – TKO 2
March 26 – Katsunori Nagamine – TKO 7
Aug. 10 – Takashi Omae – TKO 4
Oct. 12 – Rolly Sumalpong – UD 10
Dec. 27 – Kenichi Horikawa – UD 10
April 14 – Atsushi Katutani – TKO 1
Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him at www.twitter.com/AnsonWainwright