Yesterday fans around the world saw WBC Bantamweight champion Shinsuke Yamanaka (24-0-2, 17) struggle to defend his title in a very competitive bout with the excellent Anselmo Moreno (35-4-1, 12). The bout, scored a split decision in favour of Yamanaka, saw both the judging, by 3 neutral judges, and the champion come under harsh criticism for what was a stylistic nightmare for the Japanese fighter.
On paper the right thing to do would have been to offer a rematch to Moreno, something that Moreno said he would do if was to win, prior to the bout. Instead however it looks like Yamanaka and his team realise they got the lucky escape and will look elsewhere for his next bout.
At a press conference earlier today Yamanaka's team stated that their intention was now to pursue a bout with WBA "super" champion Juan Carlos Payano (17-0, 8), who himself claimed a controversial technical decision over Moreno last September to win the title. Not only have Yamanaka's team said they are eyeing the unbeaten Dominican champion but that they would travel to face him and want to fight "on a big stage", suggesting a major bout in the US.
Of course if Yamanaka and Payano can't get a deal sorted there are other options. One of those would obviously be the rematch with Moreno, a bout that would also make sense to have Stateside considering that Moreno found himself trending on Twitter in the US yesterday, or a bout a either WBA "regular champion" Jamie McDonnell (27-2-1, 12), WBO champion Pungluang Sor Singyu (51-3, 35) or the winner of the upcoming IBF title fight between Randy Caballero (22-0, 13) and Lee Haskins (32-3, 14). Incidentally all 4 of these other title options hold recent wins over Japanese fighters.
For those who missed it, we have included the Yamanaka Vs Moreno bout below, from Japanese TV.
(Image courtesy of daily.co.jp)
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