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Boxing | International

Yamanaka makes second defence of WBO belt

Ryuya Yamanaka of Japan makes the second defence of his WBO minimumweight belt when he faces Filipino Vic Saludar at the Central Gym in Kobe, Japan, on Friday.

The 23-year-old Yamanaka (16-2; 5) won the belt on August 27 last year when he outpointed Tatsuya Fukuhara (19-4-6) on a closely-fought 12-round unanimous points decision. The scores were 116-112 and 115-113 twice.

He retained the belt with an eighth-round stoppage win over the tough Mexican Moises Calleros (28-7-1) in March this year.

The only losses on his record came against Masaki Hirai in April 2013, who stopped him in the first round, and an eight-round split decision loss to Roque Lauro in August 2014.

Saludar (17-3; 10) is 27 years old and is listed at No 3 by the WBO. He is a skilful fighter who will be having his second crack at trying to win the WBO minimumweight belt. In December 2015 he was stopped in the sixth round by Kosei Tanaka in a clash for the vacant belt.

The losses on his record came against Powell Balaba in his third fight, who stopped him in the fourth round, and Kosei Tanaka (ko 6), and Mike Kinaadman (pts 6).

Yamanaka has possibly been in with tougher opponents and goes into the fight as the favourite. He should take a hard-earned points decision.

The other main organisation champions are WBC, Wanheng Menayothin (Thailand), WBA, Knockout CP Freshmart (Thailand), and Hiroto Kyoguchi (Japan).


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