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Yudai and Ginjiro Shigeoka to defend their strawweight belts in Japan on March 31

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The Shigeoka brothers, Yudai and Ginjiro, both holding portions of the strawweight title, will appear in the same card in their first title defenses.

Yudai will put his WBC title on the line against former titleholder Melvin Jerusalem, while younger brother Ginjiro will face former title challenger ArAr Andales, on Sunday March 31 at the International Conference Hall, Nagoya, Japan.

In the same card, Tomoki Kameda and Lerato Dlamini will meet in a direct rematch after their absorbing featherweight encounter last October.

The event will also see Matchroom and Koki Kameda’s promotional outfit work together for the ‘Prizefighter’ middleweight tournament that will see the winner claim a $1million dollar prize.

In that tournament, Riku Kunimoto (10-1, 4 KOs) will defend his Japanese national title against Eiki Kani (8-3-3, 4 KOs). Ainiwaer Yilixiati (19-1, 14 KOs) and Kieron Conway (20-3-1, 5 KOs) will meet, unbeaten pair Aaron McKenna (18-0, 9 KOs) and Jeovanny Estela (14-0, 5 KOs) collide and Mark Dickinson (6-0, 2 KOs) and Anauel Ngamissengue (13-0, 8 KOs) round things out.

Yudai Shigeoka (8-0, 5 KOs), rated at No. 2 by The Ring at strawweight, won five national titles and had dreams of representing Japan at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. However, when his weight class was expunged, similarly to Collazo, he elected to turn professional in October 2019.

The 26-year-old notably edged the more experienced Tsubasa Koura (MD 12) in 2021 and stopped former world champion Wilfredo Mendez (KO 7). He outboxed Petchmanee CP Freshmart (UD 12) to become WBC titlist in October.

Jerusalem (20-3, 12 KOs), rated at No. 6 by The Ring at strawweight won his first 11 fights at home in the Philippines before losing a razor thin decision to then-WBC titlist Wanheng Menayothin (UD 12). He suffered a hangover and lost to compatriot Joey Canoy (UD 10) in his next bout.

The 29-year-old won eight consecutive fights and landing a WBO title shot against Masataka Taniguchi earlier this year. He made the most of his opportunity scoring an impressive second-round stoppage. However, he yielded the title in his first defenses against Oscar Collazo (RTD 7) but had returned to winning ways since.

Ginjiro Shigeoka (10-0, 8 KOs), rated at No. 3 by The Ring at strawweight, was a standout amateur before turning pro in September 2018. He notably stopped former world title challenger Rey Loreto (KO 5) in his fifth bout. Had it not been for the pandemic – he didn’t fight for 18-months – the diminutive 24-year-old southpaw may have already won a world title.

He was doing a number on Daniel Valladares before the fight was curtailed due to a head-clash that ruled the fight a no-contest. He impressively defeated Rene Mark Cuarto (TKO 9) in his most recent bout.

Andales (14-2-3, 6 KOs) turned professional in 2017. The Filipino won his first 10 fights and while still a teenager unsuccessfully challenged WBA ruler Knockout CP Freshmart losing an eight-round technical decision due to a cut from an accidental headbutt.

The now 24-year-old was surprisingly stopped by his Joel Lino (TKO 6) in a fight for the national title. He has remained unbeaten in his seven fights since though three of them have draws, two of them technical draws due to head clashes.

Kameda (40-4, 22 knockouts) is the youngest of three brothers who all won world titles (Naoya and Koki being the other two). Tomoki spent a lot of time in Mexico and fought there several times on his way up. He won the WBO bantamweight title by outboxing Paulus Ambunda (UD 12). Three defenses followed before under the PBC umbrella he lost twice to WBA 118-pound titleholder Jamie McDonnell (UD 12/ UD 12).

Several wins followed before Kameda came up short against Rey Vargas (UD 12) in a shot at the WBC 122-pound belt. The 32-year-old reeled off four wins before narrowly losing an IBF featherweight eliminator against Dlamini (SD 12) last October.

Dlamini (20-2, 11 KOs) lost his debut against Michael Mokoena (PTS 4) at lightweight in 2015. The South African dropped to 122-pounds notched wins over former world featherweight titlist Simpiwe Vetyeka (MD 10) and previously unbeaten Dave Penalosa (UD 12).

The 29-year-old was very competitive with Jazza Dickens but dropped a hard-fought 12-round unanimous decision but has won twice since including against Kameda.

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected].


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