Luis Nery Ends Shinsuke Yamanaka's Title Reign, Wins WBC Bantamweight Championship
Published: August 15, 2017
KYOTO, JAPAN – There is a new champion in the bantamweight (118) division, and his name is Luis Nery (24-0, 18 KOs). Earlier today the undefeated Mexican traveled to the nation of Japan to take on one of boxing’s longest reigning champions in Shinsuke Yamanaka (27-1-2, 19 KOs). Nery at just 22 years of age was able to stop Yamanaka in the fourth round to shake up the bantamweight division for the foreseeable future.
Yamanaka against Nery was attempting the 13th defense of his WBC championship. The Japanese native was only a few defenses away from tying the division record set by Hall-of-Famer Orlando Canizales. At 34 years of age, Yamanaka may be looking at retirement or a rematch with Nery in the future. Recently two of Yamanaka's fellow countrymen, Takashi Miura and Takashi Uchiyama retired following recent losses.
What Nery accomplished by defeating Yamanaka cannot be understated. Nery went into an opponent’s home country and emphatically beat a long reigning champion. In today’s boxing climate this is a rare occurrence, and he should be commended for being poised enough to defeat Yamanaka at such a young age. The attention will now turn to the next opponent for Nery who aside from a rematch with Yamanaka has plenty of options at bantamweight.
South African Zolani Tete (25-3, 20 KOs) is the WBO champion in the division currently and has shown that he is willing to travel having fought in Mexico, Japan, and in the United Kingdom. The winner of the unification bout between IBF champion Ryan Burnett (17-0, 9 KOs) and WBA ‘Super’ champion Zhanat Zhakiyanov (27-1, 18 KOs) taking place in Belfast, Ireland this October would make for an intriguing match up. There is also WBA ‘Regular’ Jamie McDonnell (29-2-1, 13 KOs) who has yet to fight in 2017 that could be a big fight in the United Kingdom.
If unification bouts cannot be made first, there are plenty of contenders to challenge the young Mexican champion. Rau’shee Warren (15-2, 4 KOs) recently defeated McJoe Arroyo (17-2, 8 KOs) in July on the Adrien Broner-Mikey Garcia card in New York. Juan Carlos Payano (18-1, 9 KOs) and Liborio Solis (25-5-1, 11 KOs) would also be stiff challenges for Nery as well.
Whatever the future holds for Nery, the bantamweight division looks to have enough talent to provide fireworks for years to come.
(Featured Photo: Naoki Fukuda)