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).