By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Unbeaten Japanese prodigy WBO#10, WBC#9, WBA#10, IBF#11 Ginjiro Shigeoka (6-0, 5 KOs), 105, greatly stunned the limited audience under the pandemic, when he impressively kept his WBO Asia Pacific minimumweight belt by polishing off previously unbeaten compatriot #3 Toshiki Kawamitsu (6-1, 3 KOs), 104.5, at 2:05 of the second session in a scheduled twelve rounder on Wednesday in Tokyo, Japan.
Standing just 5”, Ginjiro is one of the shortest boxers here in Japan, but the 21-year-old ex-amateur champ might be a Little Giant in the future. His amateur mark was 56-1 with his one and only setback having been a towel-tossing stoppage by his twin brother Yudai Shigeoka (also a bright professional prospect) without fighting at the beginning of the contest. So, Ginjiro had been actually unbeaten in the unpaid ring.
Winning the regional belt in his fourth pro bout, Ginjiro, making his second defense, displayed a picture-perfect southpaw right hook that countered the willing mixer Kawamitsu, 25, and badly dropped him to the deck early in round two. The challenger very barely regained his feet wobblingly, but almost lost his equilibrium with another absorption of the same southpaw right to the button. The ref Fukuchi quickly held the loser and declared a well-received halt, which was so dynamic and dramatic that we couldn’t see in the lightest 105-pound division.
Ginjiro’s shots were all razor-sharp tonight, and effectively hurt the game challenger with his good judgement of distance. The tiny lefty might have a potential to become a second Naoya Inoue, if duly handled.
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Our government decided to declare the fourth state of emergency in the capital Tokyo from this Monday to August 22, although the Olympic Games are to take place here from July 23 to August 8 as planned. Also announced was that almost all games will be held with no spectators except the Olympians and the minimum people concerned in the nearly empty arenas or gymnasiums.
Even now foreign professional boxers are not allowed by the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) to enter Japan under the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. We have to wait for the Games to be over, and then our government will hopefully establish a new guideline to open the gate for foreign athletes to professionally work here. It is the status quo in Tokyo, where the infection still grows increasing day after day.
Promoter: Watanabe Promotions.