Yesterday we saw Shinsuke Yamanaka (27-1-2, 19) [山中慎介] suffer a 4th round TKO as he lost the WBC Bantamweight title to 22 year old Mexican Luis Nery (24-0, 18). Going into the bout the big story in Japan was that Yamanaka was looking to tie the long standing Japanese record of 13 world title defenses, by Yoko Gushiken.
Today Yamanaka took part in a press conference to speak about the bout and his future, and his plans had he won.
The former champion admitted that he had planned to retire had he won, a revelation suggesting that his aim was only ever to tie Gushiken's record, and never actually break it. With the loss that plan has obviously been scuppered but retirement hasn't been rules out anyway from the Teiken puncher, who has stated that he needs more time to decide about his future.
Asked what bout he would want if he returned he seemed to suggest his only interest would be a rematch with Nery, to reclaim the title, and that no other fighter was in his mind. This has seen Teiken approach Nery's handlers, who appear open to a rematch if the terms are right, with Teiken almost suggesting they'd only want a direct rematch, rather than waiting for the bout, which is likely to do with Yamanaka aging with the fighter turning 35 in October and being on the older end, especially for a lower weight fighter.
In regards to the stoppage, he seemed to disagree with it. He admitted that he was flapping, but that he wasn't particularly hurt, something that some fans have stated themselves with Yamanaka slipping a lot of the shots thrown at him. He didn't blame the trainers, but it's clear that he was unhappy with the way the bout was stopped.
With no serious injuries Yamanaka could return to the gym quickly, though he did accept that he has had some damaging bouts recently, and it sounds like there are doubts as to whether or not it's worth fighting on at his age given he does still have his health and, as mentioned, is quickly headling towards 35.
In regards to the TV audience the fight drew an impressive 10.8% on average in the Kanto region, which is around 4,600,000, and peaked at a 16.5%, which is over 7,000,000. Sadly the figures have only been made available for the Kanto region of Japan, but those numbers, for a mid week fight are impressive.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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