Shinsuke Yamanaka, Kiko Martinez defend titles


Japan's unbeaten Shinsuke Yamanaka scored four knockdowns on the way to his fifth straight stoppage win and the sixth defense of his WBC bantamweight title following Wednesday's ninth-round technical knockout victory over Stephane Jamoye of Belgium at Castle Hall in Osaka, Japan.

A 31-year-old who is THE RING's number two-rated 118-pounder, Yamanaka (21-0-2, 16 knockouts) dropped Jamoye (25-5, 15 KOs) once in the second round, twice in the eighth and for the last time in the ninth with a powerful body shot, causing referee Hector Afu to end the bout 11 seconds into the final round.

On the undercard, IBF junior featherweight titlist Kiko Martinez (31-4, 23 KOs) of Spain scored his fourth consecutive stoppage win, doing so by seventh-round technical knockout over ex-beltholder Hozumi Hasegawa (33-5, 15 KOs) of Japan.

The 28-year-old Martinez is THE RING's number three-rated 122-pounder and has not lost since falling by ninth-round knockout against Carl Frampton in February 2013.

Against Hasegawa, Martinez made the second defense of the title he won following a sixth-round stoppage that dethroned previously unbeaten Jhonatan Romero in August of last year.