Ginjiro Shigeoka on the Fast Track to World Title Shot
Japan has a long and storied history of fighters quickly moving up the ranks to become highly successful professionals and win world titles. The latest could be world-ranked minimumweight contender Ginjiro Shigeoka (8-0, 6 KOs).
Featured in the 3Kings Boxing’s Prospect Watch in April 2019, the 22-year-old southpaw is arguably the most promising up-and-coming fighter in the entire sport. He was tabbed as someone to keep an eye on as a youth after registering a gaudy 56-1 amateur record, which included capturing several regional and national titles.
Turning pro in September 2018, the 5’0″ southpaw dynamo has been nothing short of impressive thus far. In July 2019, he destroyed tough and durable Clyde Azaracon to win the then-vacant WBO Asian-Pacific title. Azacaron’s only other loss up to that point was a twelve-round decision defeat to future IBF 105-pound champ Rene Mark Cuarto.
Shigeoka followed that performance with a fifth-round stoppage over former world title challenger Rey Loreto in December 2019. He only fought once once from January 2020 – December 2021 due to COVID-19 protocols in Japan. Although he fought twice in 2022, winning easily on both occasions.
A STYLE BREAKDOWN
For those who have not seen him in action, he is the definition of an explosive fighter. Because of his quickness, aggression, and two-fisted power, it would be easy to put him in a box and label him as just a puncher. That would be a mistake. Closer observation reveals someone quite skillful, fundamentally sound, and defensively responsible. You have a fighter who is essentially a power boxer.
The sanctioning bodies have taken notice. Currently, Shigeoka is ranked first by the WBC, fourth by the WBA and WBO, and fifth by the IBF. The WBC ranking is particularly worth noting. Panya Pradabsri is scheduled to defend the WBC belt against Tsubasa Koura on August 30. Word on the street is that Shigeoka could fight WBC seventh-ranked Luis Castillo in a world title eliminator later this year.
Unified bantamweight champ Naoya Inoue and WBO 115-pound champion Kazuto Ioka are two examples of Japanese fighters who won their first world title in less than ten fights. Shigeoka hopes to follow in their footsteps.
He is ambitious with a burning desire to reach the big time. Many hardcore followers view him as a world champion in waiting. Shigeoka is on the hunt to fulfill and exceed everyone’s lofty expectations.
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By: Michael Wilson Jr.