By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Boxing Beat
Teiken Promotions announced a world title doubleheader in association with WOWOW cable television in Tokyo, Japan, on November 10. Unbeaten WBC bantamweight champ Shinsuke Yamanaka (19-0-2, 14 KOs), Japan, will participate in his fifth defense against Mexican Alberto Guevara (18-1, 6 KOs) in a main event. Also, formerly two-time world titlist Jorge Linares (34-3, 22 KOs), a Japan-based Venezuelan, will have an ambitious shot at the WBA lightweight belt against Richard Abril (18-3-1, 8 KOs), originally from Cuba and now residing in Miami, over twelve frames. Along with the twinbill, WBA light-fly super champ Roman Gonzalez (36-0, 30 KOs) and formerly two-class champ Takahiro Ao (24-3-1, 11 KOs) also appear beneath the sensational promotion.
Yamanaka, fresh from his previous first round demolition of Jose Nieves in the first round this August, acquired the vacant WBC throne, and kept it on four occasions, beating Vic Darchinyan (W12), ex-titlist Tomas Rojas (KO7), Malcolm Tunacao (TKO12) and Nieves (KO1) to his credit. Yamanaka, a stylish southpaw, strongly wishes to have Guevara fall to score four KO wins in a row.
Linares, living in Tokyo for eleven years since he was seventeen, already gained the WBC feather and WBA super-feather belts, but he had ill-fated results since his entry into the lightweight category, losing to Antonio DeMarco and Sergio Thompson in a row. But Linares, on his comeback trail, registered three consecutive victories to show his improvement and strength. Abril, a lanky Cuban, displayed a competitive performance with Brandon Rios despite a debatable setback by a split decision in April of the previous year, and kept his WBA belt once via decision over previously unbeaten Sharif Bogere this March. It will be a very technical encounter, and if Linares is fortunate enough to win the 135-pound crown, it will be his third belt through his professional career.
It will take place at the Ryogoku Sumo Arena and will be telecast live by WOWOW nationwide in Japan.