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Luis Nery vs. Shinsuke Yamanaka 2 – Results

By Jim Dower: Former WBC bantamweight champion Luis Nery (26-0, 20 KOs) made easy work of former WBC 118 lb. belt holder Shinsuke Yamanaka (27-2-2, 19 KOs) in stopping him in the 2nd round on Thursday night in their rematch in Tokyo, Japan. The official time of the stoppage was at 1:03 of round 2.

The WBC bantamweight title remains vacant after Nery’s win over Yamanaka. Nery came in over the 118 pound limit at Wednesday’s weigh-in. Nery weighed in 3 lbs. over at 121 lbs. The WBC bantamweight title was on the line for Yamanaka for tonight’s fight, but not Nery.


Now that the WBC belt is vacant, it’s likely the World Boxing Council will order Nery and the next available contender to fight for the strap. Emmanuel Rodriguez is currently ranked #2 with the WBC, but he’s expected to fight for the now vacant IBF 118 lb. belt. We’ll have to see what the WBC’s next move will be. Nery likely figures to be fighting for a world title soon. He has a lot of talent. He didn’t make weight, but he sure did look good against Yamanaka tonight in obliterating him in 2 rounds.

Yamanaka reportedly retired after the fight. He’d been a pro for 12 years.

The much younger 23-year-old Nery dropped the 35-year-old Yamanaka 4 times in the fight before the fight was halted in the 2nd round. One knockdown came in the 1st round, and the other 3 came in the 2nd round. The referee Michael Griffin failed to call a knockdown in the 1st round after Nery dropped Yamanaka with a hard jab to the head with 1 minute to go in the round. It was a blown call by the referee. It didn’t matter though. Yamanaka was staggering like a drunk after he got back to his feet. It’s unclear why the referee didn’t correct himself and realize that he’d missed the call. That was not a slip. Yamanaka was badly hurt from the left hand from Nery.

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Nery ignored the mistake on the referee’s part and immediately pounced on the shaken Yamanaka and dropped with him after nailing him with 2 hard chopping lefts to the head. Nery looked like he was chopping down a tree in landing the left hands. Yamanaka was able to make it out of the round after receiving a standing 8 count that ate up a lot of time. With 16 seconds to go in the round, Nery attempted to finish off Yamanaka with a big left hand, but it missed the mark. Had that punch landed, Yamanaka likely would have been down and out. That shot had knockout written all over it.

Yamanaka failed to try and tie Nery up in the final seconds of the round. For a long-time pro like Yamanaka, he should know that you’ve got to tie your opponent up when you’re hurt. Yamanaka was fighting like a novice instead of an old pro, but he’s obviously had things his own way through most of his career in terms of him being better than his opposition. Yamanaka didn’t know how to deal with the speed, power and youth of Nery. All those flaws in Yamanaka’s game were highlighted in his 2 fights with Nery.

In round 2, Nery dropped Yamanaka hard with a tremendous left hand to the head at the 2:41 mark of the round. Nery setup the shot by backing Yamanaka up with a series of hard combinations to the head, and then he flattened him with a left hand to the head. Yamanaka’s head was resting against the bottom rope as he lay on the canvas. He looked very hurt. You can argue that the fight should have been stopped right there, as Yamanaka looked out of it and he had no punch resistance from Nery’s big shots. It was clear. Nery was too powerful for the 35-year-old. Yamanaka stumbled after getting up. He bounced around and looked hurt. Once again, referee Michael Griffin gave Yamanaka an 8 count. It didn’t matter. He could have given Yamanaka a 200 count and he still would have been knocked out. He was not going to win this fight. Nery was on another level to him. When the action resumed, Nery hit Yamanaka with 3 softer shots and then nailed him with a BIG left to the head that put him down on his backside on the canvas. The knockdown came at 2:22 of the 2nd round.

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Yamanaka got up and walked over to the ropes and looked into the audience. It’s unclear what he was searching for, as their no one there that could be his lifeline to save his ultimate destiny. After the referee restarted the action, Nery hit Yamanaka with a 4-punch combination that put him down for the 4th and final time in the fight. The last punch that landed was a right hand to the head. The referee Michael Griffin then waived off the fight. Even if Yamanaka had been smart and held to try and survive the 2nd round, he was not going to last long against Nery. Yamanaka was getting hit too hard, and he didn’t have the ability to keep Nery off of him.

For Nery, this was his second knockout of Yamanaka. He stopped him in the 4h round on August 15th last year in Japan. That was the same kind of fight with Yamanaka looking good briefly and then getting battered by Nery. In hindsight, Yamanaka shouldn’t have taken the rematch with Nery. You can call it pride on Yamanaka’s part in choosing to face Nery a second time instead of realizing that he’d met his match. The 2 losses Yamanaka’s suffered against Nery didn’t appear to be a case of him being over-the-hill. Nery would have beaten the brakes off of Yamanaka at any point in his career in my view. These 2 defeats were more about Nery having too much power and speed for Yamanaka. A fighter can only handle so many hard head shots before they go down, and Yamanaka could not handle Nery’s speed and power. Yamanaka would find success if he went after WBA bantamweight champion Ryan Burnett or WBA ‘regular’ champion Jamie McDonnell. Those are guys that Yamanaka would measure up against.

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