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Nery Ends Yamanaka's Reign in Japan

Shinsuke Yamanaka's reign ends.
Shinsuke Yamanaka's reign ends.

By Derek Bonnett

Twenty-two year old Mexican, Luis "Pantera" Nery crashed Shinsuke Yamanaka’s bantamweight world title reign with a devastating performance that just may lead the dethroned champion toward retirement like his countryman Takashi Uchiyama and Takashi Miura last month. The challenger traveled from Tijuana, Mexico to Shimazu Arena in Kyoto, Japan.


Round one saw Yamanaka commanding the action with a strong southpaw jab. The champion mixed in a few right hands to the body and head, but was feeling out his foe to gain an assessment of what the younger fighter had to offer. Yamanaka, 34, won the round, but ate a left hook from the challenger in the final seconds. Nery came out quicker in the second round and buckled the champion with another left hook followed by a right. Yamanaka took the punches and later rattled his challenger with a right hand. Nery’s pressure stalking produced more success in this frame, but he still leapt in a tad too wildly allowing the veteran champion to keep the round even. The challenger had a slow start in the third as Yamanaka got back to work with his jab. Nery stepped it back up in the middle round and both fighters exchanged shots on even terms. In the final minute, Nery began to take over. Yamanaka ate a left hook and went on the retreat, using his legs to avoid the on-charging  Mexican. Nery took the round and wasted no time in the fourth. Without much offense to negate from the champion, Nery brutalized Yamanaka with power shots, landing in bunches. Yamanaka kept his guard up, but even the punches on the arms were moving him. Nery wobbled the champion with a pair of rights and stunned him worse with a left hook later in the round. Without much offense in return, Yamanaka needed saving from his own corner as the brave champion refused to go down. His corner stepped in to end the onslaught. The bout officially ended at 2:29 of round four.


Nery remained unbeaten at 24-0-0 (18) and took home his first world title. Yamanaka lost his unbeaten streak and fell to 27-1-2 (19). Previously, Yamanaka defended his WBC bantamweight title twelve times.


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