Photo Credits: Naoki Fukuda
Following Nery testing positive for Zilpaterol, it wasn’t going to be too long before a rematch would be announced. The 15th August saw Yamanaka making his 13th defence against the dangerous Luis Nery.
The fight started out with both men showing action for the crowd in Kyoto, Nery slipped and dodged as did Yamanaka. Punches started to land more throughout the rounds and both were getting caught. Nery appeared more aggressive and landed the cleaner punches. The second round would close with wild punches and as the third went on, Nery figured out angles which provided an open target on Yamanaka.
Nery started looking for the punch to win very early and in the 4th, he found it after wobbling Yamanaka early; he caught him with a sensational left hook-right cross and the barrage ensued until Yamanaka was getting caught clean and the corner, as well as the ref, had seen enough.
Luis Nery the new champ would fight again whilst still under investigation and racked up another knockout to his record.
Now Mexico and Japan go to war again on the 1st March to settle the matter and put it to bed. A fight that will likely fly under the radar for the global scale but the result will have people talking more about the bantamweight division and that’s exactly what we want.
Nery is a heavy puncher and for the bantamweight division it brings more excitement, Yamanaka was a long-reigning champ in the division and there’s no doubt he has the motivation to reach that position again. Nery first fought out of his home country when he took the WBC crown and Yamanaka is still yet to fight outside of Japan. Nery oozes with confidence as it was shown in the first fight but Yamanaka was dominating beforehand, perhaps he needed the loss to bounce back.
Whatever the result, the bantamweight division is happy to have it and provides excellent future fights for the winner. Ryan Burnett became champion and unified in his 2nd title fight whilst Zolani Tete is coming off a world record knockout and both are eager to become the undisputed champion.
The possibility of bantamweight being included in the next WBSS is likely but competing against featherweight. If it so happens, 2018 looks to be a great year for the division.
What’s your prediction for the fight? Let us know in the comments.