Shimizu faces long recovery time

Kyodo

Newly crowned champion Tomonobu Shimizu is not expected to make the first defense of his WBA super flyweight title until next spring because of the effects of an eye injury, his Kaneko Gym chief Kentaro Kaneko said Thursday.

“It will be three or four months before he can even start sparring. I think his next match will be around March or April,” said Kaneko.

Shimizu won a split decision over champion Hugo Cazares to claim the super fly belt in his third crack at a world title at the end of last month and had been eyeing his first defense at the end of the year.

But after beating Cazares, the 30-year-old was diagnosed with a fractured right eye socket. Kaneko said he is set to undergo further detailed tests on Tuesday.

Shimizu, who normally fights one weight class down at flyweight, said, “First of all I want to build up a proper super flyweight body.”