This past weekend saw WBC Bantamweight champion Shinsuke Yamanaka (20-0-2, 15) head off to the US to begin a state-side training camp ahead of his next title defense.
The popular fighter, who won the award as Japanese boxing MVP just a few days ago, appears to be in the US for more than just training however. In fact from quotes provided to Japanese sources Yamanaka is viewing this camp as a prospective "dry run" of a fight later this year in the US.
Although obviously there to prepare for a title defense in April he'll be using his time in the US to adapt to the time zone difference, the cultural differences and various other differences between Japan and the US.
We're expecting a straight forward defense for Yamanaka in April in the Kansai region before heading to the US for a title fight in the fall.
Although Yamanaka has been quoted as wanting to fight Leo Santa Cruz or Anselmo Moreno we actually think a fight in the fall in the US would be a lesser defense against a fighter known to a US audience. This bout would be used as another dry run of sorts whilst also giving him a chance to raise his profile ahead of a major bout. In all honesty it wouldn't shock us if Yamanaka was in the co-feature bout of a card headlined by Leo Santa Cruz to help build up that supposed fight.
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