Yamanaka retains title after trading knockdowns with Solis
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Shinsuke Yamanaka and Liborio Solis both climbed off the canvas twice in their 12-round WBC bantamweight title fight, but it was Yamanaka who walked away with the victory and the belt at Shimazu Arena in Kyoto, Japan, on Friday.
Yamanaka (25-0-2, 17 knockouts) was dropped twice in Round 3 while Solis (23-4-1, 10 KOs) went down in Rounds 2 and 9 as Yamanaka earned scores of 117-107 on all three cards. It was the 10th successful defense of the title the 33-year-old Yamanaka won in 2011, and the second straight tough outing after he eked out a split decision against Anselmo Moreno last September.
Yamanaka, rated No. 1 at 118 and No. 9 pound for pound by THE RING, got the benefit of a 10-8 round in the second in the form of a flash knockdown. There was nothing questionable about the knockdowns the Venezuelan Solis scored in the third as a right hand found its mark on the face of the Japanese southpaw. Yamanaka was still dazed when he went down again near the end of the round.
Solis once again went down in Round 9 and, knowing he needed a knockout to win, went for broke. While he lost the fight, Solis redeemed himself from his last trip to Japan, when he missed weight by two and a half pounds for his IBF/WBA junior bantamweight title unification fight in 2013 and dropped the WBA belt on the scales.
Lopez grinds out majority decision over Kimura
Ganigan Lopez showed why one should keep trying if they don’t initially succeed.
Less than a year after losing in his first title opportunity, Mexican contender Lopez (27-6, 17 KOs) made good on his championship goals, grinding out a majority decision over Yu Kimura (18-3-1, 3 KOs) to win the WBC junior flyweight title.
Lopez, 34, prevailed by scores 119-109 and 118-110 on two cards, while a third judge surprisingly saw the fight even at 114-114.
Kimura had won the title by split decision in November from Pedro Guevara, who had defeated Lopez by decision last July