SUNDAY August 27, 2017
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.