The loss to Sonsona seemed like a potential career-ender and for more than a year he sat on the sideline. That break ended earlier this year when he struggled past Gosuke Seki in what was a less than stellar performance.
Today Shimoda was back in the ring, just his second bout since the loss to Sonsona, but today he looked world class.
Matched against Jerry Nardo (21-8, 11) we were expecting to see Shimoda given a real test. Instead however Shimoda looked sharp with everything he did, as if he knew he had to make a statement. His movement was swift, his punching sharp and his combinations accurate.
That showed with Shimoda landing at will, blunting Nardo's attack with his movement and, in round 5, forcing the referee to save the Filipino who was stopped standing.
After the bout Shimoda hinted at fighting for a Featherweight world title. We wouldn't give him much of a chance against a current champion but this was the best he's looked in some time and it seems like his confidence his is back and that he is arguably, at 31, the best he's ever been.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)