SUN­DAY Au­gust 27, 2017

Boxing News - - The Week -

RYUYA YA­MANAKA cap­tures the WBO strawweight ti­tle from Tat­suya Fukuhara with a hard-fought de­ci­sion win at the Shi­royama Sky Dome in Ku­mamoto, Ja­pan.

Us­ing smart move­ment and sharp com­bi­na­tions, Ya­manaka earns scores of 116-112 and 115113 twice.

Hav­ing ac­quired the In­terim WBO belt by squeak­ing past Mex­i­can Moises Calleros via split de­ci­sion in Fe­bru­ary, Fukuhara, a lo­cal favourite mak­ing his first de­fence, looks ner­vous and stiff from the out­set, while Ya­manaka be­gins to feel out the champ’s open­ing at­tacks.

Af­ter four rounds of close work, Ya­manaka is able to keep things at range and use his su­pe­rior tech­ni­cal abil­ity to con­trol the mid­dle stages of the fight, which is con­tested at a fre­netic pace.

The south­paw cham­pion is un­able to find an an­swer to Ya­manaka’s in­tel­li­gent work, ex­cept for a brief spell of suc­cess in the eighth, miss­ing fre­quently as he grows more and more frus­trated with his elu­sive foe.

Go­ing into the fi­nal round, Ya­manaka has a solid lead but Fukuhara man­ages to muster enough en­ergy to launch a sus­tained at­tack – how­ever, it is not enough and the younger chal­lenger makes off with the ti­tle in style.

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