Minimumweight Is Proving to be One of Boxings Best Divisions
There is a running debate among fans is about what division is the best in sport. Rarely do you hear the lower weights mentioned. But boxing’s smallest weight class, minimumweight, is on the rise and arguably the most slept-on division in the sport.
The 105-pound division is currently undergoing a resurgence with an injection of talented young fighters like Ginjiro and Yudai Shigeoka, Oscar Collazo (8-0, 6 KOs), and Erick Rosa (6-0, 2 KOs). On October 7, in Tokyo, Japan, the Shigeoka brothers became the first siblings to capture a world title on the same fight bill. Ginjiro (10-0, 8 KOs) scored a fifth-round stoppage over Daniel Valladares to win the IBF title. Yudai (8-0, 5 KOs) defeated the highly-respected Panya Pradabsri by unanimous decision to claim the WBC crown.
Collazo won the WBO title in January 2023 with a seventh-round stoppage over Melvin Jerusalem. In his last outing, the 26-year-old defended the WBO belt for the first time with a dominant sixth-round stoppage over Garen Diagan in August 2023.
Rosa is the current WBA Regular champion at 105. His last outing was an eight-round stoppage over Orlando Pino in a non-title affair.
WHAT THEY BRING TO THE TABLE
Each of these young fighters brings something different, but all are very talented fighters. At age 26, Yudai is the older of the Shigeoka brothers. The WBC champion is more of a boxer who relies on his quickness and array of boxing skills.
Ginjiro is the more aggressive and explosive fighter. With one-punch power in both hands, the 24-year-old reminds some long-time observers of former unified junior flyweight champion and Hall of Famer Humberto “Chiquita” Gonzalez.
Collazo is an aggressive boxer-puncher who loves to break down fighters with a mean body attack. Rosa is the slickster of the bunch, and the 23-year-old relies on speed, skill, and movement.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE OLD VET
Despite the guys on the come-up, one fighter who has been steady on top of the division – WBA champion Knockout CP Freshmart (24-0, 9 KOs). He won the WBA title in June 2016.
Freshmart is the longest reigning current world champion in boxing. With his ability to fight any style and experience, he is the definition of a true professional in the ring. At age 33, he’s shown no signs of slowing down.
WHAT COULD BE BREWING
What adds even more spice to the pot is that they all could fight one another. Following the win over Pradabsri, Yudai called for a fight with Collazo. Word on the street is that Freshmart and Rosa will fight each other in the first quarter of 2024. Ginjiro also wants to be a unified champion. He could target a fight against the winner of Freshmart and Rosa. The next 12-24 months could be chocked full of excellent fights that could result in an undisputed champion at 105.
Minimumweight is a division that has been largely ignored, even by professed hardcore heads. But closer inspection of 105 reveals a weight class that’s one of the best in the sport and has the potential to reach new heights and unchartered popularity.