September 16, 2016
The WBC world title doubleheader will take place today (Friday) in Osaka, Japan. Unbeaten Japanese southpaw Shinsuke Yamanaka (25-0-2, 17 KOs) will put his WBC bantamweight belt on the line against mandatory challenger Anselmo Moreno (36-4-1, 12 KOs), Panama, in a grudge fight following their first encounter a year ago, when Yamanaka barely kept his throne via split verdict (all 115-113; two for the champ and one for the challenger) after a grueling contest in Tokyo. Moreno, also a southpaw, is an artful dodger who averted the hard-punching champfs vaunted southpaw lefts and occasionally countered well. But Yamanaka swept last three rounds to successfully retain his belt. It will be a sensational rematch with high technical standard with Yamanaka making his eleventh defense.
Also, WBC super-bantamweight titlist Hugo Ruiz (36-3. 32 KOs) of Mexico will defend his belt against former WBC bantam and feather champ Hozumi Hasegawa (35-5, 15 KOs), a Japanese southpaw veteran, over twelve heats. It will be the 35-year-old ex-champ Hasegawafs swan song and he says it will be his final appearance regardless of the result. Hasegawa forfeited his WBC 126-pound belt to Jhonny Gonzalez by a fourth-round stoppage in 2011, and attempted to win his third world belt, losing to IBF 122-pound ruler Kiko Martinez via seventh round TKO in 2014. Since then, Hasegawa defeated a couple of world-rated Mexicans: Horacio Garcia and Carlos Ruiz (despite suffering a couple of visits to the deck) to his credit. Ruiz, some three inches taller, captured the 122-pound belt on a stunning first round stoppage of Julio Ceja in Anaheim, California, this February. For the taller Mexican, 29, it will be his initial defense.
At the weigh-in ceremony, Yamanaka tipped the beam at the 118-pound class limit to 117.75 for Moreno. Ruiz and Hasegawa both scaled in at 122 pounds.
WBC officials are as follows:
For the Yamanaka-Moreno title bout:
Referee Daniel Van de Wiele (Belgium); judges David Sutherland (US), Burt Clements (US), Nicholas Hidalgo (Venezuela).
For the Ruiz-Hasegawa title contest:
Referee Hector Afu (Panama); judges same as the aforementioned title go
The supervisor for both title bouts is Duane Ford (US).
This sensational twinbill will be presented by Akihiko Hondafs Teiken Promotions to be telecast nationwide in Japan.
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