Yudai Shigeoka: Professional Boxing History And Journey

Author: yashovardhan sharma on Jan 01,2024
Blog / Jan 01,2024

Image: Tapology


This year has witnessed an influx of exceptional young talent into the Japanese fighting scene, as numerous budding athletes have opted to embark on their professional journeys rather than pursuing a spot at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Despite the significance of the Olympics for Japan, a surprising trend has emerged, with many fighters choosing to forgo their Olympic aspirations in favor of turning professional. However, this shift in focus has injected a palpable excitement into the landscape, as a continuous stream of promising youngsters transitions to the professional ranks. Among the latest to make this pivotal career choice is Yudai Shigeoka.

Despite being a strong contender for a spot on the Japanese national team in the upcoming Summer Olympics, the 26-year-old has decided to follow in the footsteps of his younger brother, Ginjiro Shigeoka, by joining the Watanabe Gym and entering the professional arena. Yudai, who has been a prominent figure in the national amateur scene for years, boasts an impressive 81-10 (20) record in the unpaid ranks. His achievements, accumulated over time, are certainly noteworthy and deserve closer scrutiny.

Yudai Achieved Notable Success in His Youth

During his youth, Yudai achieved notable success by clinching the title at the 2015 Japanese High School Invitational Tournament in Okayama, among other high school competitions. His triumphs in high school were complemented by consecutive appearances in the finals of the Japanese National Sports Festival. Although he faced defeat in the 2017 final against Tomoya Tsuboi and in the 2018 tournament against Tosho Kashiwazaki, Yudai rebounded with a victory in the 2018 Japanese National Championship. Yudai not only consistently reached the later stages of domestic competitions but also garnered valuable international experience.

His journey included reaching the final of the 2018 World University Championships, where he demonstrated his prowess on the global stage despite losing to local favorite Edmond Khudoyan in the gold medal bout. The turning point in Yudai's career seemed to come after witnessing his brother make his debut for the Watanabe Gym. With the removal of the Light Flyweight division from the Olympic plans for 2020, Yudai found himself at a crossroads. Uncomfortable with moving up in weight and recognizing the diminished chances of Olympic qualification in his natural division, he faced a crucial decision. Rather than persisting in pursuit of Olympic dreams that were no longer feasible, Yudai made the proactive choice to transition to the professional ranks.

Yudai Left a Great Impression in His Pro-Test Fight

He left a lasting impression during his B license pro-test bout. In this test, he sparred three rounds with former world title challenger Masataka Taniguchi, showcasing the qualities expected of a top-tier prospect. Yudai exhibited sharpness, versatility, and defensive acumen, presenting himself as an elite prospect reminiscent of his younger brother, who, though slower, possesses formidable punching power. Being a southpaw like his brother, Yudai's style is characterized by precision, accuracy, and boxing skill, in contrast to his brother's aggressive pressure-oriented approach. With the backing of the Watanabe Gym propelling Yudai's professional ascent up the rankings, it's evident that he won't face any hindrances in his journey. Drawing parallels with his brother, who contended for his first title in just his fourth bout within 10 months and 2 days of his debut, a similar trajectory is expected for Yudai. Expressing genuine ambition, Yudai has already articulated his desire to become a world champion alongside his brother. Given the remarkable abilities of both siblings, this aspiration stands as a tangible and achievable possibility.

Shigeoka Brothers Create History

The Shigeoka brothers, Yudai and Ginjiro, etched their names into boxing history by achieving a remarkable feat at the Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan. In an unprecedented accomplishment, they became the first siblings to secure world titles on the same fight card. Yudai Shigeoka, with a record of 8-0 and 6 knockouts, exhibited his prowess in a decisive unanimous decision victory (119-109, 119-109, 117-111) over Thailand's Panya Pradabsri (40-2, 24 KOs), securing the WBC minimumweight title. Meanwhile, older brother Ginjiro Shigeoka, boasting a record of 10-0 with 8 knockouts, claimed the IBF minimumweight title by stopping Daniel Valladares (27-4-1, 15 KOs) in the fifth round.

In Yudai Shigeoka's bout, he strategically used his punching power advantage to take control in the early rounds. Despite the crafty counterattacks from the experienced Pradabsri, Shigeoka's nimble footwork allowed him to evade most shots. Enduring constant pressure, Yudai showcased exceptional poise, dominating the latter half of the contest. Ultimately, Shigeoka proved to be the superior fighter, with Pradabsri unable to muster the firepower needed to overcome the determined challenger. In the post-fight interview, the newly-crowned WBC champion expressed a keen interest in a potential unification bout with the reigning WBO champion at 105, Oscar Collazo. The Shigeoka brothers' historic achievement and Yudai's aspirations for further glory add a compelling chapter to the narrative of Japanese boxing.

Ginjiro Shigeoka Supported His Brother With His Own Win

Ginjiro Shigeoka decisively defeated Daniel Valladares in a rematch, marking a significant turnaround from their initial clash in January 2023, which was declared a no-contest due to Valladares' inability to continue following an accidental clash of heads. In this rematch, Ginjiro Shigeoka displayed dominance from the outset, sending Valladares to the canvas in the opening round. The Japanese challenger aggressively unleashed a flurry of punches, compelling the referee to halt the contest with forty seconds remaining in the round. This triumph now positions Ginjiro Shigeoka to pursue a unification bout with WBA champion Knockout CP Freshmart, who holds a record of 24-0 with 9 knockouts.


Yudai Shigeoka has been steadily climbing up the professional boxing ladder as a rising star. He has shown remarkable resilience as he goes from one tough rival to another. Fans are sure to be delighted by future matches involving the dynamic brothers Yudai Shigeoka and Ginjiro Shigeoka.