By Joe Koizumi
Two-time world challenger Tomonobu Shimizu (18-3-1, 9 KOs), ex-Japanese flyweight champ popular among female fans due to his handsome face, will have his third ambitious crack at the WBA super-fly belt against Mexican veteran Hugo Cazares (35-6-2, 25 KOs) in Tokyo, Japan, on August 31. It will be the first of a world title twinbill, supporting a WBA bantam title go between defending titlist Koki Kameda (25-1, 16 KOs) and David De la Mora (26-0, 16 KOs) at the Nihon Budokan (Japan’s Martial Arts Hall) in the center of Tokyo. Shimizu, formerly a university amateur boxer, failed to win the 112-pound belt twice—both within the distance—from Pongsaklek Wongjongkam in Thailand in 2007 and compatriot Daisuke Naito here the next year. Against Naito, Shimizu was obviously leading on points thanks to his successful hit-and-run strategy before a pitiful come-from-behind tenth-round stoppage. Cazares, three years his senior at 33, wrested the WBA throne by frustrating Nobuo Nashiro with his puzzling switch-hitting en route to a unanimous verdict in a rematch in Osaka in May of the previous year. Since then, Cazares kept his belt four times, including a lopsided decision over Hiroyuki Hisataka last December. For Cazares, Japan may be a good market that attracts him to come back.