The Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan hosts a WBC World Bantamweight title bout between long time champion Shinsuke Yamanaka and Anselmo Moreno of Panama. Moreno was the WBA World Bantamweight champion from 2008-2014, and despite roughly a year off, he brings an extremely experienced resume of (11-1) in Bantamweight world title fights. For his part, Yamanaka has a (8-0) record in world title fights, so the match pits two of the more experienced titlists out there today. The 12-round bout has no over/under line out, but the champion Yamanaka is coming in a strong (-600) favorite over Moreno, who is coming back at (+450). The physical match-up sees no major differences, as the height sees Yamanaka an inch taller at 5’7.5 and Moreno has a half inch reach advantage. Moreno (35-3-1) has some more ring-time on him, as Yamanaka has gone (23-0-2) in his career, but the Japanese fighter boasts more KO power, as he has 17 stoppages in his 23 wins compared Moreno’s 12 KO’s. both men are in their primes, as Yamanaka is two years older at 32 years old. Yamanaka has never fought outside of Japan, and he was not about to start now, bringing in Moreno for this title defense. Moreno has been off for a year, asnd he is coming off a loss. In September of 2014, an accidental headbutt early in his fight with Juan Carlos Payano saw Payano cut. By the sixth round, the fight had been stopped and Payano took home the technical decision and Moreno’s WBA Super World bantamweight title. Though Moreno has fought outside of his native Panama on many occassions, this will be his first time fighting in Japan. He is fighting to avoid a second loss in a row, and considering his loss to Abner Mares in November of 2012, a loss would give him a record of (2-3) in his last five fights, something to be avoided. Nevertheless, Moreno deserves credit for marching into the lion’s den to face Yamanaka.
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