Japan's Akifumi Shimoda (30-4-2, 13) has had an up and down career. Back in 2011 he shocked Ryol Li Lee and claimed the WBA Super Bantamweight title, less than 6 months later he lost that title, suffering a KO of the year style loss, whilst well in the lead, against American fighter Rico Ramos. A comeback from that loss saw Shimoda claim 4 wins before being surprisingly held to a draw by Roli Gasca. Just 10 months after the draw against Gasca we again saw Shimoda suffer a highliught reel KO loss, at the hands of the enigmatic Marvin Sonsona.
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)
Tomorrow fans in Japan get the chance to see a very interesting Featherweight bout between former Super Bantamweight champion Akifumi Shimoda (29-4-2, 12) and under-rated Filipino Jerry Nardo (21-7, 11). On paper it's a mismatch, a match up to make Shimoda look good and for him to score a second straight win as he gets back on the comeback, in reality however we're expecting a much tougher assignment for the Teiken fighter.
At the weigh in, earlier today both men weighed in at 126lbs, dead on the Featherweight limit.
For Shimoda this matches the weight he was last time out, when he defeated Gosuke Seki in June and it seems to confirm that he has now officially become a fully fledged Featherweight. As for Nardo he has lost 4lbs since his most recent bout, a loss to Rogerlio Jun Doliguez, and 8lbs lighter than he was in June, hen he beat Jason Egera. Saying that however he's fought much of his career between Super Bantamweight and Featherweight.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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