In spectacular fashion, WBC bantamweight champion Shinsuke Yamanaka (19-0-2) defended his title and knocked out challenger Jose Nieves (22-3-3) in the first round of their bout on Monday night from Tokyo, Japan.
Boxing insider Ryan Songalia broke down how the fight ended:
This is a huge win for Yamanaka as he continues to climb the boxing rankings (first on the WBC list and third in FightNews.com's rankings) . There are many inside the sport of boxing that believe the 30-year-old fighter is entering his prime and will continue to develop into an even more dominating star as he progresses.
Yamanaka has always been known as a knockout artist, but after taking Nieves (a fighter many believed was his toughest challenger to date) down after just one round, the pure domination of this fighter was exposed once again.
As great as the win was for Yamanaka, he needs to make his way out of Japan and fight in a neutral location before he can be considered the best. Every fight has been in his home country, but he has to be willing to fight elsewhere to gain international fame.
Making the trip to the United States to battle another bantamweight would launch him into the upper echelon, especially if he carries that knockout power into the fight and gives the bloodthirsty crowds the KO they desire.
Yamanaka's aggressive style would make him a star in the United States.
This is a devastating loss for Nieves, who was making his own ascension through the ranks (eighth on the WBC list and 14th in FightNews.com's rankings), winning his last five fights coming into Tuesday’s bout. The first-round knockout will put Nieves at the bottom of the divisional totem pole.
As a resilient fighter, we haven’t seen the last of the Puerto Rican star, though.
Now Yamanaka and his associates must schedule the biggest fight of his career to capitalize on his current momentum, and the perfect challenge is veteran Anselmo Moreno.
After Moreno successfully defended his WBA Bantamweight Championship for an 11th time in a unanimous decision victory over William Urina, the stage has been set for the perfect fight for each man.
If the Japanese star wants to prove he’s the best in the world, the promoters must book Yamanaka against Moreno.