Shimazu Arena, Kyoto, played host to an intriguing clash between WBC World Bantamweight champion, Shinsuke Yamanaka and No.1 challenger Luis Nery on Tuesday, 15th August.
Shinsuke Yamanaka, of Japan, had held the title since 2011. Entering the bout, the 34-year-old had made an impressive twelve successful defences. He was ranked No.10 in ‘The Ring’ P4P rankings.
Mexican Luis ‘Pantera’ Nery entered the bout with a hard-hitting reputation. The 22-year-old has been building a reputation in his native country and this was his first fight on foreign soil.
The two undefeated southpaws hit the scales at 118lbs. The champion a few inches taller.
In the opening round, Yamanaka stood tall and looked to shoot out the right-hand jab. He found a home early for his sharp left, as both combatants were looking to control the centre of the ring. Nery was a little wild with a looping left; while the champion was more accurate overall.
The challenger started the second pressing the action. Yamanaka was using the jab to control the distance. A big left, near the bell, landed for the Mexican–the two traded and a notable left landed for the home fighter.
A sharp combination, in the third, from the Japanese boxer, sprang his challenger into action. The distance was being closed down and Nery upped the tempo of his attacks. A swinging left had the Japanese boxer on the move, with the challenger in hot pursuit. Several hard shots crashed home and the round was won by ‘Pantera’.
In the fourth, Nery was launching relentless attacks. The champion was still looking to land his sharp lefts to establish control. Nery was wild, at times, but his shots were thudding home with much more regularity. Yamanaka was looking unsteady and trying to evade being swarmed. Nery was piling on the pressure while Yamanaka was looking ‘all at sea’. A left had the champion reeling to the ropes. He tried to fight back but was getting rocked. His corner rushed into the ring to call off the bombardment.
Luis Nery was mightily impressive. The 22-year-old will have gained a lot in victory. He showed his potential and dethroned a long-standing champion. The Mexican’s record is now 24-0, 18 KOs. Shinsuke Yamanaka has been on the canvas a few times recently but came back each time. At 34, it looks like the end of the road for an outstanding champion. His record now reads 27-1-2, 19 KOs.