Shinsuke Yamanaka

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Shinsuke Yamanaka
Nickname(s)Kami no hidari (God's Left)
Height5 ft 7.5 in (1.71 m)
Reach68.5 in (174 cm)
Born (1982-10-11) 11 October 1982 (age 36)
Konan, Shiga, Japan
Boxing record
Total fights31
Wins by KO19

Shinsuke Yamanaka (山中 慎介, Yamanaka Shinsuke, born October 11, 1982) is a Japanese former professional boxer who competed from 2006 to 2018. He held the WBC bantamweight title from 2011 to 2017, a reign where he made twelve successful defences and a reign which is the fourth longest in boxing's bantamweight division. He also held The Ring bantamweight title twice between 2016 and 2018.

Stylistically, Yamanaka was known as a brawler who sought to stand and trade punches with his opponents. As a southpaw, his left cross was particularly renowned as a devastating punch. He was considered an entertaining fighter, with many of his fights featuring several knockdowns.[1][2] However, he also showed the ability to box on the outside.[3] Yamanaka's height and reach gave him a significant physical advantage over most fighters at his weight class.[4]

Amateur career[edit]

Yamanaka became interested in the sport of boxing as a result of seeing the likes Joichiro Tatsuyoshi, Mike Tyson, and Naseem Hamed on TV. He amassed a 34–13 amateur record. During this time, he defeated future world champion Takahiro Ao.[5] However, Yamanaka has referred to his amateur career as "average".[6]

Professional career[edit]

Yamanaka trains at the storied Teiken Gym in Tokyo under former pro boxer and Japanese nation champion Yamato Shin.[6] Yamanaka has currently made twelve successful consecutive defences of the WBC and The Ring bantamweight titles and is currently ranked 9th in The Ring (magazine) Pound for pound listings.[7]

Early career[edit]

Yamanaka debuted at the age of 23 in Tokyo's Korakuen Hall, where he would fight 14 of his first 15 fights. Over his first 8 pro bouts he amassed a 6-0-2 with 2 razor-thin decisions. Yamanaka would improve on the ring by stopping his next 5 opponents. On June 20, 2010, Yamanaka defeated Mikio Yasuda to win the Japanese bantamweight title. He'd only defend that title once against highly touted prospect Ryosuke Iwasa, stopping him in 10 rounds.[5]

Yamanaka vs. Esquivel[edit]

Yamanaka captured the vacant WBC bantamweight title in his first world title shot against Mexico's Christian Esquivel via an eleventh-round technical knockout after knocking him down in the sixth and eleventh rounds at the Yoyogi National Stadium Second Gymnasium in Tokyo on November 6, 2011.[8][9] Yamanaka was presented with the Rookie Award both in the forty-fourth Japan Professional Sports Awards[10] and Japan's Boxer of the Year[11] in 2011.

Yamanaka vs. Darchinyan, Rojas[edit]

Yamanaka's first defense came against former flyweight and super flyweight titlist Vic Darchinyan on April 2012. Darchinyan had unsuccessfully attempted to become a 3-weight world champion twice before, losing by decision to Abner Mares and Anselmo Moreno. Yamanaka won the fight by unanimous decision (117-111, 116-112, 116-112), but Darchinyan would become the first fighter to last 12 rounds against the WBC champion since 2008.[5][12] Yamanaka defended his title once more in 2012 against Tomas Rojas, knocking the former WBC super flyweight champion out in the 7th round with a left-hand cross.

Various defenses[edit]

Yamanaka would go on to face Malcolm Tuñacao on his third defense. Yamanaka would end up winning by technical knockout on the 12th round after knocking Tuñacao down three times in the course of the fight. Yamanaka's fourth defense came against José Nieves, whom he knocked out in the first with an overhand left. Yamanaka's final defense of 2013 would be against Alberto Guevara. Yamanaka would once again knock his opponent down three times before finishing him with a left-hand in the 9th.[13] In 2014, Yamanaka notched 2 more defenses. The first came against Stephen Jamoye, whom he knocked down 4 times before stopping him in the 9th round. The second one would come against Suriyan Sor Rungvisai. Yamanaka dropped Sor Rungvisai 3 times but was unable to finish him, winning by unanimous decision (116-108, 115-109, 114-110) but ending a 5 fight knockout-streak. His first defense of 2015 came against Diego Santillan, who touched the canvas twice before being stopped on the 7th round.

Yamanaka vs. Moreno[edit]

Yamanaka would run into his toughest fight yet in his ninth title defense against former WBA champion Anselmo Moreno. The fight took place on September 22, 2015 in Ōta, Tokyo. Moreno, a classical out-boxer, kept Yamanaka from landing his signature left-hand using his jab and movement to neutralize the WBC champion. Moreno would pull ahead on the scorecard by landing combinations during the middle rounds. Yamanaka and Moreno traded power punches in the latter third of the fight, with Yamanaka seemingly getting the better of the fight during this stretch. The final round would end with both fighters visibly tired and resorting to holding.[14] With no clear winner, the fight was ruled a controversial split decision (115-113, 115-113, 113-115) won by Yamanaka. The three judges were all from the United States, but many observers and Moreno himself felt they had favored the local fighter.[15][16]

Yamanaka vs. Solís[edit]

Yamanaka's next defense would come against Liborio Solís on March 4, 2016. Solís proved to be another tough test for the WBC champion. Yamanaka sought to establish himself early, winning the first round and knocking his opponent down in the second. However, Solís would come back and drop Yamanaka with a right-hand in the third round. Yamanaka seemed to recover, but late on that same round he was dropped again by a well-timed counter from Solís. Yamanaka would rally after that round, proceeding to drop Solís once more in the 9th round. Both fighters would continue trading punches until the final bell, but Yamanaka had dominated most of the fight and he was given a unanimous decision (117-107, 117-107, 117-107).[17]

Yamanaka vs. Moreno II[edit]

Roughly 2 months after the Yamanaka-Solís bout, Anselmo Moreno had defeated previous WBC title challenger Soriyan Sor Rungvisai to become Yamanaka's mandatory challenger, setting up a rematch. The rematch would take place at the Edion Arena on September 2016. Moreno tried to stifle Yamanaka with his jab once again but Yamanaka had more success landing counters, even dropping Moreno once on the opening round. The two fighters would go on to trade knockdowns, with the defending champion going down in the 4th and the challenger going down in the 6th. The seventh round proved to the decisive one, as Yamanaka knocked Moreno down twice more before the referee waved the fight off.[18] With this seventh-round technical knockout victory, Yamanaka won the vacant The Ring bantamweight title.[19]

Yamanaka's next defense came against Carlos Carlson, whom he also defeated via seventh-round TKO on March 2, 2017.

Yamanaka vs. Nery[edit]

Yamanaka's 13th defense would come against #1 WBC contender Luis Nery in Kyoto. With this fight, Yamanaka sought to equal Yoko Gushiken's record for most successful defenses by a Japanese world champion.[20] The bout started with both fighters trading back and forth combinations, but at the start of the fourth round Nery rocked Yamanaka with a left cross. After a brief respite in which Yamanaka seemed to regain control, Nery continued pummeling the defending champion, who was unable to defend himself. Yamanaka's corner eventually rushed into the ring to protect their fighter, giving Nery the win.[21] The fight was seen by an audience of over 7 million people in Japan. In a press conference after the fight, Yamanaka stated that he was unhappy with the stoppage but he didn't blame his trainers for it. Yamanaka also said he was considering retirement but he was open to a rematch with Nery.[22]

Following Nery testing positive for zilpaterol, a banned substance, The Ring reinstated Yamanaka as their bantamweight champion.[23] On October 31, the WBC made its final ruling on Nery's positive test. The sanctioning body concluded that the positive test was due to contaminated food. Consequently, the result of the Yamanaka-Nery title bout wouldn't be overturned but the WBC ordered a rematch.[24]

Days after the ruling, Yamanaka confirmed he wouldn't retire and would come back for the rematch.[25]

Yamanaka vs. Nery II[edit]

During the weigh-in prior to the bout, Nery came in at 123 pounds, five pounds over the limit for the bantamweight division. Despite cutting two pounds before the final weigh-in, he was stripped of his title prior to the bout for failing to make weight. The fight continued regardless, leaving Yamanaka with a chance to regain the title should he win the fight.

Nery knocked Yamanaka down with an overhand left near the end of the first round, and although Yamanaka beat the count, he did not appear to recover during the break, and was knocked down a further three times in the next round before the referee called off the fight at 1:03 into the second round.[26]

After the fight, the WBC announced that it would be suspending Nery indefinitely for his failure to make weight, removing him from their ranking system and preventing him from competing for any WBC belt.

Yamanaka announced his retirement following the fight.[27]

Professional boxing record[edit]

Professional record summary
31 fights 27 wins 2 losses
By knockout 19 2
By decision 8 0
Draws 2
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
31 Loss 27–2–2 Mexico Luis Nery TKO 2 (12), 1:02 Mar 1, 2018 Japan Ryōgoku Kokugikan, Tokyo, Japan Lost The Ring bantamweight title;
For vacant WBC bantamweight title
30 Loss 27–1–2 Mexico Luis Nery TKO 4 (12), 2:29 Aug 15, 2017 Japan Shimadzu Arena, Kyoto, Japan Lost WBC and The Ring bantamweight titles;
Yamanaka later reinstated as champion by The Ring after Nery failed a drug test
29 Win 27–0–2 Mexico Carlos Carlson TKO 7 (12), 0:57 Mar 2, 2017 Japan Ryōgoku Kokugikan, Tokyo, Japan Retained WBC and The Ring bantamweight titles
28 Win 26–0–2 Panama Anselmo Moreno TKO 7 (12), 1:09 Sep 16, 2016 Japan Edion Arena, Osaka, Japan Retained WBC bantamweight title;
Won vacant The Ring bantamweight title
27 Win 25–0–2 Venezuela Liborio Solís UD 12 Mar 4, 2016 Japan Shimadzu Arena, Kyoto, Japan Retained WBC bantamweight title
26 Win 24–0–2 Panama Anselmo Moreno SD 12 Sep 22, 2015 Japan Ota-City General Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan Retained WBC bantamweight title
25 Win 23–0–2 Argentina Diego Santillan KO 7 (12), 0:36 Apr 16, 2015 Japan Bodymaker Colosseum, Osaka, Japan Retained WBC bantamweight title
24 Win 22–0–2 Thailand Suriyan Sor Rungvisai UD 12 Oct 22, 2014 Japan Yoyogi #2 Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan Retained WBC bantamweight title
23 Win 21–0–2 Belgium Stephane Jamoye TKO 9 (12), 0:11 Apr 23, 2014 Japan Jō Hall, Osaka, Japan Retained WBC bantamweight title
22 Win 20–0–2 Mexico Alberto Guevara KO 9 (12), 0:25 Nov 10, 2013 Japan Ryōgoku Kokugikan, Tokyo, Japan Retained WBC bantamweight title
21 Win 19–0–2 Puerto Rico Jose Nieves KO 1 (12), 2:40 Aug 12, 2013 Japan Ota-City General Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan Retained WBC bantamweight title
20 Win 18–0–2 Philippines Malcolm Tuñacao TKO 12 (12), 1:57 Apr 8, 2013 Japan Ryōgoku Kokugikan, Tokyo, Japan Retained WBC bantamweight title
19 Win 17–0–2 Mexico Tomás Rojas KO 7 (12), 0:36 Nov 3, 2012 Japan Xebio Arena, Sendai, Japan Retained WBC bantamweight title
18 Win 16–0–2 Armenia Vic Darchinyan UD 12 Apr 6, 2012 Japan International Forum, Tokyo, Japan Retained WBC bantamweight title
17 Win 15–0–2 Mexico Christian Esquivel TKO 11 (12), 1:28 Nov 6, 2011 Japan Yoyogi National Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan Won vacant WBC bantamweight title
16 Win 14–0–2 Japan Ryosuke Iwasa TKO 10 (10), 1:28 Mar 5, 2011 Japan Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan Retained Japanese bantamweight title
15 Win 13–0–2 Mexico José Silveira RTD 9 (10), 3:00 Oct 24, 2010 Japan Ryōgoku Kokugikan, Tokyo, Japan
14 Win 12–0–2 Japan Mikio Yasuda TKO 7 (10), 0:50 Jun 20, 2010 Japan Sumiyoshi Ward Center, Osaka, Japan Won Japanese bantamweight title
13 Win 11–0–2 Japan Kazuharu Morimoto KO 1 (8), 1:44 Mar 6, 2010 Japan Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
12 Win 10–0–2 Japan Yuta Uetani TKO 1 (8), 2:02 Nov 7, 2009 Japan Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
11 Win 9–0–2 Japan Masanori Murata TKO 1 (8), 2:17 Jul 4, 2009 Japan Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
10 Win 8–0–2 Thailand Wanpadechsuk Sithsaithong TKO 3 (8), 1:39 Mar 21, 2009 Japan Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
9 Win 7–0–2 Japan Ryuichi Funai TKO 7 (8), 2:54 Jan 17, 2009 Japan Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
8 Win 6–0–2 Japan Zaragoza Uema UD 8 Oct 4, 2008 Japan Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
7 Draw 5–0–2 Japan Kenichi Yamaguchi PTS 8 Apr 22, 2008 Japan Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
6 Win 5–0–1 Japan Toyoto Shiraishi MD 8 Oct 31, 2007 Japan Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
5 Win 4–0–1 Japan Yoichi Oguma SD 6 Aug 29, 2007 Japan Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
4 Win 3–0–1 Japan Takeo Sato TKO 2 (8), 2:34 Apr 7, 2007 Japan Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
3 Win 2–0–1 Japan Yuta Sato TKO 2 (6), 0:41 Dec 16, 2006 Japan Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
2 Draw 1–0–1 Japan Keiji Yokomamura PTS 5 Aug 23, 2006 Japan Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
1 Win 1–0 Japan Hitoshi Takahashi UD 6 Jan 7, 2006 Japan Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nagatsuka, Kaz (23 February 2017). "'God's Left' readies for title defense". Retrieved 7 November 2017 – via Japan Times Online.
  2. ^ "Crossroads For Yamanaka -- "God's Left" Needs To Take Some Risks". 20 March 2017. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  3. ^ "The Real 19: Double World Title Fight". Asian Boxing. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  4. ^ "Luis Nery vs. Shinsuke Yamanaka - Results » Boxing News". 15 August 2017. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  5. ^ a b c "Shinsuke Yamanaka". Asian Boxing.
  6. ^ a b "Shinsuke Yamanaka: "Vic Darchinyan is the only fighter I am thinking of"". Max Boxing.
  7. ^ "Ratings - The Ring". Archived from the original on 2015-05-03.
  8. ^ Associated Press (November 6, 2011). "Takahiro Aoh keeps belt with decision". ESPN. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
  9. ^ Sports Network (November 6, 2011). "Ao defends belt against Boschiero". Fox News Channel. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
  10. ^ 2011年度日本プロスポーツ大賞発表!! (in Japanese). Japan Professional Sports Association. 2011. Retrieved January 25, 2012.
  11. ^ Joe Koizumi (January 26, 2012). "Nishioka Japan's Boxer of the Year". Retrieved January 27, 2012.
  12. ^ Scott Christ (April 6, 2012). "Yamanaka vs Darchinyan Results: Vic Darchinyan Denied Again in Bantamweight Title Bid". Bad Left Hook.
  13. ^ "Super Shinsuke takes out Guevara". Asian Boxing.
  14. ^ "Yamanaka Edges Moreno By Split Nod, Retains Title - Boxing News".
  15. ^ "Traer a Yamanaka a Panamá, la nueva misión para 'Chemito'". 2 May 2016.
  16. ^ "Shinsuke Yamanaka Rematches Anselmo Moreno This Weekend - The Sweet Science".
  17. ^ "Yamanaka Trades Knockdowns With Solis In Decision Win - Boxing News".
  18. ^ "Yamanaka Ends Debate With Moreno TKO; Hasegawa Conquers Ruiz - Boxing News".
  19. ^ "RING Ratings Update: Canelo splits, Yamanaka crowned - The Ring". 21 September 2016.
  20. ^ "Shinsuke Yamanaka-Luis Nery: Pre-Fight Report Card - Boxing News". Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  21. ^ "Home". Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  22. ^ "Shinsuke Yamanaka reveals retirement was on his mind before facing Nery, unhappy with stoppage". Asian Boxing. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  23. ^ "Luis Nery's B-sample positive for PEDs; Shinsuke Yamanaka reinstated as RING champ - The Ring". 26 September 2017. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  24. ^ Landeros, Jose. "World Boxing Council". Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  25. ^ "Yamanaka No Longer Retiring, Coming Back For Luis Nery Rematch - Boxing News". Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  26. ^
  27. ^

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Regional boxing titles
Title last held by
Mikio Yasuda
Japanese bantamweight champion
June 20, 2010 – August 2011
Title next held by
Ryosuke Iwasa
World boxing titles
Title last held by
Nonito Donaire
WBC bantamweight champion
November 6, 2011 – August 15, 2017
Succeeded by
Luis Nery
Title last held by
Bernardo Piñango
The Ring bantamweight champion
September 16, 2016 – August 15, 2017
Preceded by
Luis Nery
The Ring bantamweight champion
September 26, 2017 – March 1, 2018
Via reinstatement
Vacant after loss to Nery