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 champfs 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 Hasegawafs 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 Hondafs Teiken Promotions to be telecast nationwide in Japan.


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