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Randy Petalcorin looking for early Christmas present against Ken Shiro in Japan on December 23

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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World-rated junior flyweight Randy ‘Razor’ Petalcorin 31-3-1 (23) will get his Rocky moment when he challenges WBC 108-pound champion Ken ‘The Amazing Boy’ Shiro 16-0 (9) at the Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan on December 23.

The 27-year-old Filipino southpaw will be hoping for an early Christmas present against the talented Shiro, who won the world title against Ganigan Lopez in just his 10th pro bout and has successfully defended the green belt six times.

Japan’s Shiro, 27, was originally scheduled to face IBF junior flyweight champion Felix ‘El Gemelo’ Alvarado 35-2 (30), who withdrew from the bout two weeks ago citing “lung illness”.

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Despite the short notice, Petalcorin’s co-manager Peter Maniatis said the opportunity was too good to refuse.

“Randy has four weeks to get ready and to travel to Japan and fight the best light flyweight in the world in Ken Shiro,” Maniatis said.

“It is a big challenge that we could not knock back. It is a chance of a lifetime for Petalcorin to fight for world title.”

Petalcorin will be training at Sanman Gym in General Santos City in the Philippines under the guidance of Jim Claude Manangquil.

“Ever since I started boxing, I always wanted to fight the best fighter in the world for the WBC world title, now my dream has come true on December 23rd,” said Petalcorin.

Maniatis added: “Petalcorin has been running the General Santos mountains as Manny Pacquiao twice a day with his trainer this past week to get ready for Shiro.

“He gets his Rocky shot and wants to make the most of it.”

Petalcorin is ranked WBC number 14, WBA number eight, IBF number four and WBO number nine.

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