Interview with Ginjiro Shigeoka “The Best Boxer of Generation Z” Surprises the World | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Interview with Ginjiro Shigeoka “The Best Boxer of Generation Z” Surprises the World

Special Interview with Former Japanese Minimumweight Champion 1.6 IBF World Title Match is Finally Set!

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Since joining the gym, he has been rubbing shoulders with world champions such as Kyoguchi, Ryoichi Taguchi (35), and Masataka Taniguchi (28). I will become the gym’s sixth world champion! (Photo by Takeshi Kinugawa)

Because of Corona, it has been difficult for me to put together a world championship match. To be honest, I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. ……

On January 6, he will face IBF minimumweight champion Daniel Valadares (28), who has won all eight of his fights with six KOs. Varadares has a record of 26 wins (15 KOs), 3 losses, and 1 draw.

He has won all eight of his fights with six KOs, while Valadares has 26 wins (15 KOs) and three losses. His concentration during fights is remarkable. Since he started boxing in the fourth grade, he has never let up for a moment in the ring, and he has never lost a single fight. It has been less than five years since I took care of Ginjiro, who won five championships in high school. Now we can finally send him to the big stage.

Mr. Watanabe, the chairman of the board, assured us that “Varadares is not an enemy of Ginjiro.

There is no way that GINJIRO can be beaten by a player who has lost three times. However, from a global perspective, the lightest weight class, minimum weight, does not attract much attention. That is why I hope to appeal to the world with a series of KO defenses. I really hope that I can beat Gushiken Yoshitaka’s (67) record of 13 world title defenses.

On November 11, the day he officially announced his challenge to Varadares, Ginjiro sparred six rounds. He is good with right hooks and left body uppercuts, but he is also refining his straight left hand, “so that I can knock down my opponent with any punch. His expression in between practice sessions was full of joy.

Looking back from his professional debut on September 25, 2006, to the present, Ginjiro said that the most difficult period for him was the 19 months when he was unable to enter the ring due to the COVID-19 crisis.

I became the WBO Asia Pacific champion in July ’19 and defended by KO at the end of that year, but I couldn’t fight from the beginning of ’20. I was almost heartbroken, because I kept getting close to a decision, but it just kept falling through.”

With his income drastically reduced due to the lack of matches, Ginjiro began working part-time at a soba noodle restaurant in Tokyo.

Four times a week, I scraped yams to make yam yam, boiled soba noodles, and washed dishes. I am not dexterous, so I was frantic while working part-time. I never once panicked in the ring, but when the orders came flooding in, I was in a hurry (laughs). But I didn’t have to think about boxing, and it was refreshing. It was precious time.”

The manager at the time praised his work attitude.

He was a serious, good-natured young man who never did any messy work or cut corners, and he was loved.” Five employees went to support the game in July 2009, and we were stunned by how strong he was. It’s strange to think that that Shigeoka player and the guy who huffed and puffed when his hourly wage went up by 40 yen are the same person (laughs).

Trainer Chikara Machida, who has been working with Ginjiro since his second debut fight, also commented.

He must have learned something while interacting with people who have nothing to do with boxing at his part-time job. Recently, he has been showing more consideration for others and expressing his gratitude. Around this summer, I started taking video of my sparring and looking at it objectively. I also feel that I have become more greedy.

He was also inspired by the deadly fight between former WBA light flyweight super champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (28) and Kenshiro Teraji (30), two of his seniors at the gym, whom he has been in friendly competition with for years.

He said, “The soulful fight, the concern for those around him after the fight–Kyoguchi-san, you were so cool. I also learned from Kenshiro’s jab. How to control the distance. I also reconfirmed the importance of step work. Varadares is a fighter, but he also fights in a strange way and can match counters. He seems to like to fight, so that’s what I want. I will win by KO one hundred percent. I will remain undefeated and be the best pound-for-pound.”

On January 6, a new hero will be born in the world of Japanese boxing.

At a soba noodle shop where I work part-time. I learned here that being in a hurry doesn’t make you move any faster. I learned the importance of normalcy.”
Away from the ring, he is a 23-year-old earnest young man. I keep taking pictures of yakiniku (grilled meat) and other delicious food to cheer myself up when I’m having a hard time losing weight (laughs).
Ganjiro Shigeoka, “Undefeated, pound for pound, the best!
GINJIRO SHIGEOOKA “To be the best pound-for-pound fighter, undefeated!

FRIDAY, December 2 and 9, 2022

  • Interview and text by Soichi Hayashi

    Nonfiction writer

  • Takeshi Kinugawa

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