Shinsuke Yamanaka retires

By Cain Bradley on March 3, 2018
Shinsuke Yamanaka retires
Another early contender to make the IBHOF ballot in five years announced his retirement.

Yamanaka was a fun fighter to watch, very happy to engage in a brawl, as best seen in his two bouts with Anselmo Moreno…

Another early contender to make the IBHOF ballot in five years announced his retirement in Shinsuke Yamanaka. His final act was surely not how he would have hoped to bow out. You can debate whether he should have rejected a fight with a Luis Nery who missed the Super Bantamweight limit and previously knocked him out. It does show the warrior spirit lived inside of Yamanaka. Like most fighters east of Europe, he did not get the recognition he deserved and many probably never saw him fight. But those who did saw the best Bantamweight of his era.

He spent seven years as the WBC Champion and became the first Ring Champion in 20 years in 2016 after getting into boxing watching Tyson, Prince Naseem and Joichiro Tatsuyoshi on TV. As the Japanese Champion in his early career he beat future world champion Ryosuke Iwasa. During his time as WBC Champion he has great victories over Vic Darchiniyan, Tomas Rojas, Suriyan Sor Rungvisai, Anselmo Moreno twice and Liborio Solis. He lost his final two bouts against Luis Nery. The first was tainted as Nery failed a drug test after viciously stopping Yamanaka. A rematch was ordered by the WBC but Nery originally weighed in at 123 pounds, five over the limit and it came as no surprise when he brutally stopped Yamanaka.

Yamanaka was a fun fighter to watch, very happy to engage in a brawl, as best seen in his two bouts with Anselmo Moreno. He was a southpaw who had height and reach over most of his opponents at the weight. He was a powerful fighter, dangerous with either hand. He was a superb bantamweight, impressively defeating the man generally regarded as his number two in Anselmo Moreno. It seemed almost a shame that his title reign did not overlap with another incredible Japanese boxer in Hozumi Hasegawa.

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