Early this morning Luis Nery put an end to Shinsuke Yamanaka’s title reign, which spanned nearly six full years, in dramatic fashion. The bantamweights battled for Yamanaka’s WBC title on his home turf of Japan and Nery took it to Yamanaka early — not recklessly, but steadily applying pressure.
Nery would stun Yamanaka early in the fourth with a left hand, one he recognized did some damage, and then shook up Yamanaka again with a left-right combination with about 1:45 left on the clock before going on an undeterred assault for more than a full minute until Yamanaka’s corner rushed into the ring to throw in the towel. Yamanaka was visibly heartbroken when the stoppage came.
At age 34 Yamanaka (27-1-2, 19 KOs) suffers his first professional defeat and loses his WBC belt after capturing it in late 2011 against Christian Esquivel. He successfully defended the title 12 times in a row until today.
Meanwhile Nery (24-0, 18 KOs), who fights out of Mexico, captures his first world title at age 22 and obviously has a bright future ahead of him.
For those who want to catch video of the fight, I found this link on YouTube. It will be interesting to see how Yamanaka handles this loss as it was obviously a crushing defeat for a proud champion.