By Joe Koizumi
Unbeaten Japanese southpaw, WBC bantamweight champ Shinsuke Yamanaka (20-0-2, 15 KOs), 118, impressively retained his belt as he sent Mexican footworker Alberto Guevara (18-2, 6 KOs), 117.5, sprawling twice in the eighth and finally dropped him with a vicious left for the count at 0:25 into the ninth round on Sunday in Tokyo, Japan. Yamanaka, making his fifth defense, thus registered latest four defenses within the distance to his credit. His initial defense was scored by a unanimous decision over Vic Darchinyan in April of the previous year.
It was a nearly lopsided affair before the trick happened as tallied 79-71 by all the judges: Burt Clements, Dave Moretti and David Sutherland (all from US). The referee was Hector Afu (Panama) who controlled the fast-moving bantams well.
Guevara, 23, had suffered only a setback by Leo Santa Cruz in a bid for the IBF 118-pound belt last December, he went the distance as he withstood the busy-punching champ’s onslaught with his defensive skills. But Yamanaka patiently maintained the pressure and finally caught the Fancy Dan with his pulverizing lefts.
(More to come)