• Kyodo News

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Newly crowned WBA super bantamweight champion Akifumi Shimoda will likely face No. 1 contender Rico Ramos of the United States in his first title defense in June, Teiken Gym chairman Akihiko Honda said Monday.

“We have been told by the WBA to hold a mandatory title fight. There is a 90 percent chance of the match taking place. A formal decision will probably be made sometime next week,” said Honda, referring to the fight that will likely be held in the United States.

Only three Japanese champions have defended their titles overseas and none achieved the feat in the United States.

“Normally, a title defense isn’t held overseas, so I’m afraid but I want to do my best to overcome that fear,” Shimoda said.

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