Oscar Collazo couldn’t wait to welcome the Shigeoka brothers to the title stage.
‘El Pupilo’ is equally as eager to knock each off their respective perch.
“Where’s the Mario Brothers at,” Collazo mockingly asked. “I want all the smoke.”
The revolving door of strawweight titlists in 2023 continued over the weekend, as Yudai and Ginjiro Shigeoka both claimed major belts on the same show in Tokyo. Yudai outpointed long-reigning WBC titleholder Panya Pradabsri, while Ginjiro forced a fifth-round stoppage of Mexico’s Daniel Valladares to claim the IBF belt.
Both wins came just more than four months after Puerto Rico’s Collazo (8-0, 6KOs) claimed the WBO title in a seventh-round stoppage of Melvin Jerusalem on May 27. The win came less than five months after Jerusalem dethroned Masataki Taniguchi in a second-round knockout on January 6 in Osaka, Japan.
Collazo has since added a sixth-round knockout of the Philippines’ Garen Diagan on August 26 in San Juan to extend his current three-fight knockout streak. He entered the year hopeful of facing fellow young gun Erick Rosa (6-0, 2KOs), who continues to wait for the travel availability of WBA strawweight titlist Thammanoon Niyomtrong to proceed with their ordered title consolidation bout. A win by Rosal will give the division its fourth young, unbeaten titleholder, all of whom seem eager to face one another.
For now – and perhaps as an insurance policy – Collazo’s sights are now set on the division’s newest titleholders.
“It’s time for ‘El Pupilo’ to become the teacher, and teach these guys who is the best in the division,” Collazo insisted.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox