Japan’s Satoshi Shimizu, who won bantamweight bronze at the 2012 Olympics in Rio, will return to action on July 12 in Osaka, moving up to super featherweight for a fight with Joe Noynay, who will defend a minor WBO belt.
Shimizu, 33, is 8-0 (8 KO) as a professional, and has fought as a featherweight thus far, turning pro back in Sept. 2016. He won the OPBF title in his fourth pro fight, and has defended it four times, most recently on Dec. 3 at Korakuen Hall, where he stopped previously-unbeaten Takuya Uehara in the third round.
Shimizu is old to be considered a prospect, but the amount of fights doesn’t really matter these days with accomplished amateurs. Vasiliy Lomachenko is obviously the most glaring example, but we’re seeing Shakur Stevenson look world level early in his career, too, and Murodjon Akhmadaliev will fight for a world title next time out, which will be his seventh pro fight. Those are just a couple other notable names who have moved quickly as pros, and those are even younger guys.
In his run to bronze in London, Shimizu defeated Ghana’s Isaac Dogboe in the first round, then Azerbaijan’s Magomed Abdulhamidov and Algeria’s Mohamed Ouadahi, before falling in the semifinals to Great Britain’s Luke Campbell, who went on to win gold.
Noynay (17-2-1, 6 KO) is a 23-year-old Filipino southpaw who turned pro in 2013, three days after his 18th birthday, and is nicknamed “Jaw Breaker.” He’s on a five-fight win streak that dates back to 2017, but his opposition has been regional level, too.
The fight will take place on the Brant vs Murata II undercard, along with Ken Shiro defending his 108-pound title against Jonathan Taconing. No word on either of the undercard bouts airing on the ESPN+ stream in the United States. We hope so, but if they don’t, there’s not much can be done, either, and it probably won’t be a result of ESPN not picking up the fights.