Posts Tagged ‘bantamweight’

Shinsuke_Yamanaka

KOKUGIKAN, Tokyo, Japan — Shinsuke Yamanaka worked through slow start to score three late knockdowns in a ninth-round TKO win over Alberto Guevara for the fifth defense of his WBC bantamweight title.

The southpaw Yamanaka struggled to find the range with his primary weapon, the left hand, in the first four rounds due to Guevara’s aggression and mauling inside work. Yamanaka began to take over in the fifth when his fast left cross started to make Guevara consistently backpedal. From there, Yamanaka was able to land hard 1-2s down the middle and slowly break down his challenger.

The eighth round saw Guevara dropped twice by straight lefts and struggle to remain upright for most of the round. A few other tumbles to the canvas were ruled slips as Guevara seemed to be rattled by every hard blow the champion threw in his direction.

The ending ninth saw Guevara dropped again by another right-jab, left cross combination. While coherent, Guevera’s fighting spirit had left him and he took the full ten count.

Yamanaka improves to 20-0-2 (15 KOs) and remains in position to unify the bantamweight division against fellow titlists Anselmo Moreno (WBA) and Tomoki Kameda (WBO).

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Shinsuke_Yamanaka

TOKYO, Japan — Shinsuke Yamanaka notched the four successful defense of his WBC bantamweight title with another display of crushing power in knocking out Jose Nieves at the 2:40 mark of round one.

Through the first two minutes, Nieves sought to stay off the ropes and keep away from the power of Yamanaka’s southpaw left hand. Yamanaka countered this tactic by cutting off the ring and forcing Nieves to move to his right. This provided the opening for the bout-ending straight left, the only flush power shot Yamanaka landed.

Yamanaka improves to 19-0 (14 KOs) while Nieves falls to 22-3-3 (11 KOs).

With two of the champions in Anselmo Moreno (WBA) and Tomoki Kameda (WBO) getting big wins in the last two weeks, the only question now is what unification fight happens first. Based on location, Yamanaka-Kameda is likely the one.

LOS ANGELES, CA — Showtime Sports delivered an excellent fight card last night capped off by a rough and tumble barnburner of a main event between Abner Mares and Anselmo Moreno at the Staples Center. Once again, Mares passed a stiff test and afterward did what we yearn for all top fighters do — he challenged the best fighter in his divsion to a unification match.

ABNER MARES UD12 ANSELMO MORENO: Mares vowed to make Moreno “uncomfortable” and pressure him, but I don’t think anyone envisioned the “bull in a china shop” offense Mares displayed for the majority of the fight. Mares was an animal; he cared nothing about accuracy, but made sure all his punches were landing somewhere on Moreno, who struggled to gain any type of distance to work his counters. Mares would bang the body with 4-5 punches at a time. And even though Moreno had good defense in picking off a lot of shots, the sheer volume from Mares ensured many were getting through and wearing him down.

Whenever Mares would take a breather, Moreno accuracy would shine. At mid and long range, Moreno would snap back Mares’ head with his southpaw staight left and right jabs. The problem for Moreno is that Mares, clearly the bigger man, could take this punches and would explode with flurries to push Moreno back on his heels. Mares began finding the range with the overhand and straight right and hurt Moreno for the first knockdown of his career in the fifth. At that point, Moreno was only saved by the bell and appeared to be on the way out of there.

Moreno took another pasting in the sixth, but hung tough and started landing big hooks with both hands in the seventh. Moreno’s best opportunity to score a KO came in the eighth when he stunned Mares with a heavy left hook. Mares went to the ropes for the first time and Moreno, although still cautious of a trap, teed off with a series of power shots to take the round despite a late Mares flurry.

Moreno finished strong in the championship rounds but lost a key point in the 11th for holding down Mares’s head. It was a bullshit call, especially considering the roughhouse tactics exhibited by Mares the entire fight (low blows, forearms, leading with his head). Moreno had won that round on my card but had to settle for 9-9 round with the deduction.

In the end, the fifth round knockdown and Mares’ dominance over the first half of the fight was enough to get him 116-110 scores on two cards (believable), and a ridiculous 120-106 score on the other card. I had it closer to the Showtime team’s scores of 114-112.

Mares made it clear in his post-fight interview that he wanted Nonito Donaire next and implored him and Top Rank to not let politics prevent an excellent fight. I have no doubt Mares is sincere; just a look at his track record over the last few years shows he wants to fight only the best. Donaire, unless he finally gets “excited” to face stablemate Guillermo Rigondeaux, has only this fight to take if he wants to remain credible at super bantamweight. Sadly, I have little faith that Golden Boy and Top Rank can put aisde their differencs to make it happen. If they do, I’d favor Donaire since I think he’s the guy, if anyone does have it at super bantamweight, that has enough power and accuracy to hurt Mares repeatedly.

LEO SANTA CRUZ TKO9 VICTOR ZALETA: What a bruising fight. Santa Cruz reminds me a little of Antonio Margarito the way he walks down fighters and works the body. What bodes better for Santa Cruz’s career is that his defense is a little better with his tight guard. That left hook he throws to the body is very effective. Zaleta gave it his all but Santa Cruz was just too big and powerful. The idea of Santa Cruz and Mares fighting, which the Showtime team was hyping, is salivating should Donaire not come to the table for Mares. Believe it or not, Mares actually weighs more than Santa Cruz at the moment. How Mares would adjust his strategy to a bigger and stronger fighter is intriguing.

image Sendai, Miyagi, JAPAN — Shinsuke Yamanaka made a successful defense of his WBC bantamweight title last night with a crushing knockout of Tomas Rojas. The southpaw Yamanaka was leading on all scorecards in the seventh (59-55 twice, 58-56) when he stunned Rojas with a left cross and followed up with another left that put Rojas face-first on the canvas. The win is Yamanaka’s second defense of the title and first since scoring his biggest win, a 12 round unanimous decision win over Vic Darchinyan, in April.

Showtime Boxing takes an intimate look at the humble beginnings and rise of IBF bantamweight champion Abner Mares. Golden Boy’s first homegrown champ will make his super bantamweight debut this Saturday (April 21) when he faces Eric Morel for the WBC title.

Mares: 117 lbs.

Agbeko: 117 lbs.

PREDICTION: Their first bout was a good scrap that turned into a travesty courtesy of a horrid referee. Agbeko is the older fighter and you never know when it will catch up with him. Mares has a high-paced style and it clearly had Agbeko out of sorts early on. This is a toss-up, but I’m going with Agbeko by close decision mainly because I think the late rounds of the fight fight showed him how to box Mares, and the Ghanaian fighter has shown he can make great adjustments for return bouts (Yhonny Perez rematch).

Moreno: 118 lbs.

Darchinyan: 117 lbs.

PREDICTION: Moreno is a good, discplined whose advantages in height and reach will give Darchinyan some problems. Hoever, Darchinyan looked great balancing his brawling and boxing abilities in April against Yhonny Perez. Darchinyan handspeed and footspeed are better than Moreno even at 35, so he’ll be able to close the gap and force exchanges where Darchinyan’s power will be the difference. Moreno tastes the canvas at least once and loses a unanimous decision.

Top 5 bantamweight Vic Darchinyan expects to begin 2012 as a two-sport athlete when he ventures into the world of MMA. Darchinyan has a big matchup tomorrow night (December 3) when he faces Anselmo Moreno on the undercard of Mares-Agbeko II. While Gary Shaw says Darchinyan will retire should he win, the Raging Bull’s last statement in the clip makes it seem like he’ll do both sports simultaneously. That makes more sense, as it seems unlikely Darchinyan would leave boxing money on the table if he wins the title. Chime in MMA fans. Can Darchinyan be successful inside the cage?