The first four months of 2023 have not been kind to the Shigeoka family.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that unbeaten strawweight challenger Yudai Shigeoka is in need of a new opponent after WBC strawweight titlist Panya Pradabsri was pulled from their April 16 bout in Tokyo. Thailand’s Pradabsri remains hospitalized after suffering strep throat and an escalating fever which required immediate medical attention.
The bout was due to anchor a strawweight title fight doubleheader atop 3150Fight Vol. 5 on April 16 from Yoyogi National 2nd Gymnasium in Tokyo. BoxingScene.com was informed that efforts are being made to have the WBC approve Shigeoka for an interim title fight, confirming a development first reported by Punch Perfect Podcast host Jamie Bourne.
Shigeoka (6-0, 4KOs) was due a true home game for his first career title fight on a show that features his younger brother, Ginjiro, in an interim IBF strawweight title fight versus former full champ Rene Mark Cuarto.
Yudia, a 25-year-old southpaw from Tokyo, has yet to fight outside his home country in his young career. His latest win came in a third-round knockout of Tatsuro Nakashima last November 17 at the famed Korakuen Hall.
The now-delayed title bid was scheduled three months after younger brother Ginjiro (8-0, 6KOs; 1NC) was considered unlucky to not walk away with the IBF belt in his last fight.
The 23-year-old southpaw was having his way with Daniel Valladares in their January 6 title fight in Osaka. Their brief affair ended in anti-climactic fashion, when a clash of heads left Valladares (26-3-1, 15KOs; 1NC) dizzy and unable to continue. The fight was stopped at 2:48 of round three, with Shigeoka reduced to tears after being denied the title.
Valladares was due to next face the Philippines’ Cuarto (21-3-2, 12KOs), from whom he won the IBF title last July 1 via split decision in San Nicolas de los Garza. The IBF ruled at the time of the Valladares-Shigeoka fight that Cuarto was due a shot at the title within 90 days of the contest.
Valladares was granted a medical exception to delay his mandatory title defense obligations, which paved the way for a Ginjiro-Cuarto pairing on the April 16 show.
Now all that’s left is for Yudai to find a suitable opponent to fight for his own interim tltie while awaiting a shot at the real thing.
Pradabsri (39-1, 22KOs) won the WBC strawweight title in a November 2020 points win over long-reigning titlist Wanheng ‘TBE’ Menayothin. The 32-year-old from Bangkok outpointed his countryman in a rematch last March 29 along with a twelve-round, unanimous decision victory over Japan’s Norihito Tanaka last August 31 in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
This time, Pradabsri—better known at fight parties as Petchmanee CP Freshmart—was set to travel to Japan for his latest ring adventure. It would have marked his first outside of Thailand since October 2017, when he suffered his lone defeat in a twelve-round, majority decision to former WBC titlist Chaozhong Xiong in Datong, China.
The show will air live on Abema TV in Japan. Kameda Promotions previously confirmed to BoxingScene.com of plans to eventually secure a long-term deal to have its 3150Fight series air on a U.S.-based platform. However, this particular show remains unavailable for stateside viewers without the benefit of a VPN.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox