• Kyodo News

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Takahiro Aoh will make the first defense of his WBC featherweight crown against top-ranked Elio Rojas of the Dominican Republic in July, Aoh’s gym said Monday.

The 25-year-old Aoh, who became champion with a unanimous decision over Mexican Oscar Larios in March, will fight Roja at Tokyo JCB Hall on July 14.

“I will fight as though I’m aiming to go and win the belt again, not defend it,” Aoh told a news conference. “It will be good for my development to fight a strong opponent (like Rojas).”

Aoh has a 17-1-1 record with eight knockouts, while the 26-year-old Rojas is 20-1 with 13 KOs.

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