shinsuke_yamanakaThe sport books are looking at a pair of WBC World title fights this Friday, March 4th at the Shiamazu Arena in Kyoto, Japan. Promoter Akihiko Honda is promoting a seven-fight card topped by world titleholders Shinsuke Yamanaka and Yu Kimura. Yamanaka will be defending his WBC Bantamweight title against Venezuela’s Liborio Solis. Yamanaka is 24-0-2 and this will be his 10th defense of the title. Yamanaka enters the fight a big -2000 favorite, with the comeback on Solis paying +1100. There is no over/under posted for this 12-round bout. Yamanaka is a tall, rangy bantamweight who will enjoy height and reach advantages over his opponent. In his last outing, Yamanaka defended his title with a split decision win over Panama’s tough Anselmo Moreno. Solis has been boxing for roughly 15 years, and he has a record of 23-3-1. He does own a long winning streak, earning 14 straight “W”s after starting of his career 9-3-1. Yamanaka is ranked #1 in the world in the weight class by the TBRB.or ranking site, and he is coming off a November title defense against Panama’s Anselmo Moreno, who is currently ranked third. The TBRB.org site does not have Solis ranked in their top 10. A much closer line accompanies the WBC Light Flyweight affair between Yu Kimura (18-2-1) and Ganigan Lopez (26-6). Lopez hails from Mexico and is a solid veteran with a slew of regional titles on his resume. In July of last year, he failed in a world title bid against Pedro Guevara, who then went on to lose his belt to Kimura. Kimura is a -400 favorite, with the return on Lopez coming in at +310. Lopez has fought his entire career in Mexico, so this is a major road trip fight for him. After his loss to Guevara, he returned in October to face Juan Luis Lopez and earned a fourth round stoppage to get back on the winning track. Kimura has won nine fights in a row and this will be his first title defense since capturing the belt from Guevara on November 28th, 2015. Kimura has something to prove, as his win over Guevara was a split decision that saw one judge giving the fight to Guevara 117-111. Kimura is looking at potential future challenges from the Philippines Donny Nietes and fellow countryman Akira Yaegashi.


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