Earlier today Watanabe gym took a huge, yet well calculated, risk with highly touted youngster Yudai Shigeoka (2-0, 1) [重岡優大], matching him with OPBF Minimumweight champion Lito Dante (16-11-4, 8). This bout came around 6 weeks after Shigeoka's professional debut was an attempt by Watanabe and Shigeoka to make a statement., And that's exactly what they happened, with the youngster dominating the world ranked Filipino.
From the opening round Shigeoka looked like a man who belonged at this level. He took the fight to Dante, with good combinations, sharp body shots and nice looking uppercuts. Dante, who has always been a rugged, tough fighter, began to cut the distance in round 2, but struggled to have any sustained success against the much quicker, more mobile and sharp Shigeoka. The Japanese fighter showed great movement when he needed to, and never allowed Dante to dictate the tempo, catching him on the way in and keeping him at the end of his shots.
In round 5 Shigeoka suffered a cut, from a clash of heads, though never seemed that bothered by it, as he continued to out land, out box and out-speed Dante, who came off second best through out the 6 round contest.
After 6 rounds were completed we went to the judges, who turned in cards of 60-54, twice, and 59-55, to Shigeoka.
Typically this sort of a match up, for a prospect with so little professional experience, would be seen as madness, but Shigeoka made it seem easy and has made it very obvious that he'll be chasing titles in 2020.
After the bout Shigeoka seemed to make it clear that there are improvements to make, but it was hard to not be impressed by him essentially shutting out a regional champion as he did here. As for Dante he explained that Shigeoka didn't have much power, and that it was a smart style of boxing, adding that he felt he would catch up with Shigeoka over 12 rounds, and not the 6 they fought today.
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Tomorrow Japanese prospect Yudai Shigeoka (1-0, 1) [重岡優大] will take on a monster test as he battles OPBF Minimumweight champion Lito Dante (16-10-4, 8) in a very tough looking 6 round contest at Korakuen Hall.
The bout, which comes less than 6 weeks after Shigeoka's professional debut, is a serious test for the youngster, and a chance for him to either make a statement, come across as a youngster who has been thrown in to the deep a touch too soon, like countryman Tsubasa Murachi was in September.
Today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in.
On the scales Dante came in at the contracted limit of 48KG's, or around 105.8lbs, and looked in great shape. Shigeoka on the other hand was just under the limit at 47.9KG's, or 105.6lbs.
At the weigh in Shigeoka came across as incredibly cocksure and confident. He stated that he felt lucky because he was fight somebody worth fighter, and someone that can let people evaluate how good he really is. He added that he hadn't seem much of Dante's fighter, knew that he had never been stopped. Even then it seemed like he felt he could do it, and could stop the rugged Filipino.
Dante seemed to know about Shigeoka's amateur reputation, stating he was a great boxing and had won a lot in the amateurs, but did seem confident himself, and wasn't coming across as worried about Shigeoka, then again for a man with his experience we suspect very few fighters will ever worry Dante.
Sadly it's currently unclear whether or not this bout will get TV coverage on TBS's Guts Fighting broadcast later in the week.
Related - Yudai Shigeoka takes on OPBF king Lito Dante in huge step up!
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According to one, often reliable, Japanese source Japanese prospect Yudai Shigeoka (1-0, 1) [重岡優大] is set to return to the ring on December 10th in a 6 round bout against a current OPBF champion, albeit in a non-title bout.
The source has revealed that Shigeoka is pencilled in to face OPBF Minimumweight champion Lito Dante (16-10-4, 8), who fights for the first time since scoring a huge upset win in March against Tsubasa Koura.
The talented Shigeoka, the older brother of WBO Asia Pacific champion Ginjiro Shigeoka, debuted at the end of October and looked sensational as he beat Thai foe Manop Audomphanawari. This is, however, a massive step up in class and shows the youngster's ambition to rise through the ranks in an incredibly aggressive way.
Dante on the other hand is pretty a card carrying member of the "who needs him? club". The Filipino might be the OPBF champion but even with that belt he is high risk and low reward, and over 12 rounds he's a nightmare due to his toughness and energy. He can be out-boxed over the shorter distance, as Shigeoka appears to be planning here, but he is still not an easy out for any one.
The bout is said to be pencilled in as the chief support bout for a Dangan card headlined by Shigeoka's stablemate Hironori Mishiro (8-0-1, 3) [三代大訓] defending the OPBF Super Featherweight title against 23 year old challenger Yoshimitsu Kimura (12-1, 7) [木村吉光].
Other fighters now pencilled in for this card include Fumiya Fuse (8-1, 1) [富施郁哉] and Ayaka Miyao (23-8-1, 6) [宮尾 綾香], though neither of these two have had opponents reported by our source yet.
Former Japanese amateur stand out Yudai Shigeoka (1-0, 1) [重岡優大] make his professional debut, as he dominated Thai foe Manop Audomphanawari (3-3, 3).
Shigeoka, the older brother of WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight champion Ginjiro Shigeoka, looked calm and relaxed from the opening bell. Unlike his younger brother he was happy to fight at range, picking moments to come forward and strike with combinations, but not pushing the pace like we've seen from Ginjiro.
Instead of intense pressure Yudai looked to box at mid range, backing off between attacks and trying to catch Manop with counter shots, and single hard left hands to head and body. Although his head shots looked brutal it was the body blows that really caught the eye with Shigeoka repeatedly landing solid shots to the mid-section.
In round 2 Shigeoka rocked Manop to his his knees with a right hook early on before being back up momentarily. It wasn't long until Shigeoka picked up his offense though and began to hammer the Thai with some hugely hurtful left hands. The shots backed up Manop who was dropped by a right hook. To his credit Manop got to his feet, and continued the fight but was stopped soon afterwards as Shigeoka let his hands go again and forced the referee to stop the bout.
Given how impressive Shigeoka was it's hard to complain too much, though we would have liked to have seen more jabs from him. He showed touches of pure genius in there but still has areas to work on, and that's not a bad thing. Following the win he stated he wanted to fight domestic opponents soon, and although we weren't as impressed by him as we were with his brother, in his debut, there was still a lot to like about the older of the two Shigeoka brothers.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans at the Korakuen Hall will see the highly anticipated debut of former amateur stand out Yudai Shigeoka (0-0) [重岡優大], who takes on Thai foe Manop Audomphanawari (3-2, 3) in a bout scheduled for 6 rounds.
Today the two fighters took part in their weigh in, with the bout being fought at a contracted 106.7lbs.
On the scales both men made weight and both looked in great condition.
The 22 year old Shigeoka, the older brother of WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight champion Ginjiro Shigeoka, came in just under the contracted limit and looked great. He seemed relaxed but stated he wanted to fight as soon as possible and seemed to make it clear that he wanted to impress, and make sure fans remember his name and his face.
Manop on the other hand came in with some wiggle room, at 105.6lbs. He in fantastic condition for the bout, but is obviously the under-dog here against a man who is tipped to be a massive star for Japanese over the coming years.
For fans wishing to see this bout, it will be made available over the Boxing Raise service in the coming days.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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