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Boxing: Kuroda to get second world title shot in May

Japanese boxer Masayuki Kuroda poses for a photo in Tokyo, on Feb. 18, 2019. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan's Masayuki Kuroda announced Monday he will take another shot at a world title when he challenges South Africa's Moruti Mthalane for the IBF flyweight belt on May 13 at Tokyo's Korakuen Hall.

Kuroda, the fourth-ranked IBF flyweight contender, lost his bid to win the WBA flyweight crown in 2013 when he was defeated by holder Juan Carlos Reveco in a unanimous decision. Japan's Kazuto Ioka dethroned the Argentinian two years later.

The 32-year-old Kuroda, the former Japanese flyweight champ, said he intends to become the first Japanese born in the Showa era (1926-1989) to win a world title in the new era, which will begin after Emperor Akihito abdicates on April 30.

"I fully understand that this is my last chance," said Kuroda, who works a day job as a convenience store clerk.

"I've been able to practice to a level that I'm very confident in myself. I think what I'll have accumulated every day (in training) will bring about good results."

Over 40 bouts, Kuroda has 30 wins, seven losses and three draws, with 16 wins by knockout.

The 36-year-old Mthalane, who will be making a second defense, has a 37-2 record with 25 KOs. He defended the title for the first time by beating Japan's Masahiro Sakamoto by technical knockout in a New Year's Eve tripleheader in Macau.

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