Back on September 22nd we saw WBC Bantamweight champion Shinsuke Yamanaka (24-0-2, 17) narrowly retain his world title with a split decision win over tricky Panamanian Anselmo Moreno. Whilst that result was certainly a disputed one it was one that saw Yamanaka record the 9th defense of the title and edge closer to the long standing Japanese record of 13 defenses, by Yoko Gushiken.
On Wednesday, a month after the Moreno bout, Yamanaka finally returned to the gym, taking part in his first training session since that close bout.
Whilst the heavy handed southpaw banger isn't close to being ready to return to the ring he has been quoted as saying that he is eyeing the 10th defense of his title in Spring 2016, though failed to mention who he was targeting.
We know that he has, in the past, mentioned Juan Carlos Payano and has been linked to Petch Sor Chitpattana as well a rematch with Moreno. What option he takes however seems to be in the open for now, it is however good to know that he's already looking ahead and is likely to be trying to fit 3 bouts in to 2016.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today, in Tokyo, it was announced that WBC Bantamweight champion Shinsuke Yamanaka (23-0-2, 17) would be defending his title on September 22nd against former WBA "super" champion Anselmo Moreno (35-3-1, 12). The bout is as good a match that the Bantamweight division could have, other than a unification bout and is a bout that many, including ourselves, wanted to see in previous years.
The Japanese fighter will be seeking the 9th defense of his title in this bout and will be hoping to extend his reign as the #1 Bantamweight on the planet. The heavy handed southpaw won't have things all his own way with Moreno being a slippery and tricky fighter who judges distance and timing excellently with sharp punching and intelligent movement.
For Moreno, who lost the WBA "super" title last year, this is a chance to reclaim a world title. It is however his first fight in almost a year, following a controversial loss to Juan Carlos Payano last September.
Whilst Yamanaka will be favoured it's fair to say that this is, stylistically, a tough match for the champion who will be returning to the Ota-City General Gymnasium for this bout, his first bout there since stopping Jose Nieves in 160 seconds back in August 2013.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today WBC Bantamweight champion Shinsuke Yamanaka (23-0-2, 17) was involved in an event hosted by sports giant Nike. As part of the event Yamanaka spoke about his future as well as some training tips.
It was during this event that the southpaw puncher confirmed that he is now looking to make his ring return in September and will begin gearing up for that bout in the coming weeks.
The long reigning champion didn't give away too many details about the upcoming bout but it seems clear that he'll be remaining at Bantamweight for the contest and will be defending his title, for the 9th time. There is however speculation that it will be against highly ranked Thai Petch Sor Chitpattana (31-0, 20), with Petch's team having made an offer to travel to fight Yamanaka in Japan.
Although still in training Yamanaka did mention that he'll be stepping up his training as he begins to get more information regarding the bout, and will be heading to Okinawa as part of the training camp, a popular training spot for Japanese fighters and a regular venue for Yamanaka's training camp.
Speculation is that this may be Yamanaka's final defense of his title before he begins to really chase unification bouts and there is talk out there about him travelling to the US in 2016 to unify with IBF champion Randy Caballero or, if Caballero vacates, a large offer may be made to get Lee Haskins to Japan for a unification bout. That however is still "talk" and rumour more than anything too solid.
Earlier todya saw the official weigh in for tomorrows WBC Bantamweight world title fight between Shinsuke Yamanka (21-0-2, 16) and Suriyan Sor Rungvisai (37-5-1, 16) and unsurprisingly the two consummate professionals both made weight, at their first attempt.
Of the two men it was Yamanaka who was the heavier man weighing in on the divisional limit of 118lbs whilst Suriyan was barely above 117lbs, coming in at 117.25lbs. For Yamanaka this was a 9th successive weigh that saw him hitting the limit though it was a limit he made comfortably and from what we understand he was eating steak yesterday. Suriyan, who's diet we aren't too sure about, this is his first recorded weight in 16 months, back then he was 120.5lb for a fight with Jilo Merlin, though we do suspect he is very comfortable at the weight given that he is a former Flyweight world title challenger.
Although both men in the main event made weight they looked markedly different on the scales with Yamanaka looking "a division taller" than his Thai foe.
As for the the co-feature between Takahiro Ao (26-3-1, 12) and Juan Carlos Salgado (26-3-1-1, 16) we saw both men coming in above the Lightweight limit with Ao weighing in at 137lbs whilst Salgado was 136lbs. This above the weight bout is seemingly being viewed by both as a Lightweight title eliminator and despite the fact both were above the limit they will know the importance of a win here.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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