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Winwood Expects Shigeoka Brothers To Come Through 105-Pound World Title Double Header


Yudai Shigeoka (8-0, 5 KOs) will make the first defense of WBC minimumweight world title today when he welcomes former world champion Melvin Jerusalem to Nagoya, Japan. 

Shigeoka ripped the WBC belt from Thailand’s long reigning champion Panya Pradabsri by the widest of unanimous decisions in just his seventh professional fight. 

The 26-year-old, from Kumamoto, will once again take on a vastly more experienced opponent in the 30-year-old Filipino. Jerusalem (21-3, 12 KOs) was retired on his stool in a WBO world title bout with Oscar Collazo last May. Five months earlier, he had scored a second-round knockout victory over Masataka Taniguchi to claim his first world title in Osaka. 

Australia’s Alex Winwood (4-0, 2 KOs) sits at No. 2 on the WBC rankings at 105 pounds. He gave his thoughts on tomorrow’s WBC title fight. 

“I think Yudia will control most of the fight,” Winwood said to boxingscene.com. “If he can hold his distance well, it could be a stoppage win for Shigeoka. 

“However, Melvin has been in a position before and is much more experienced, but everyone who he fights will be at this stage of his career. Melvin has never been afraid to take on the champ away from home. He will really have to show his heart and go for a win, which he has shown before. I do think Yudai has been in good form since he turned pro. I think he will get the win tomorrow on home turf, but Melvin has a chance.”

Yudai’s younger brother Ginjiro Shigeoka (10-0, 8 KOs) will also make a maiden defense of a world title at 105 pounds. He defends his IBF belt against late replacement Jake Amparo (14-5-1, 3 KOs) on the same bill. Shigeoka secured his belt with a fifth round stoppage against Daniel Valladares last October in Tokyo. 

Winwood is currently ranked No. 3 for the IBF title. 

“It will be a tough ask for Jake,” Winwood added. “It’s a late call up for Jake and Ginjiro has been in camp preparing for another opponent. I assume he is at his physical peak, if so, it has some potential to be an interesting fight. 

“It will probably depend on how Jake kept in shape when he was out of camp. I  would imagine Ginjiro will have the upper hand in this match up, especially due to the late call up.”

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