Yamanaka knocks out Guevara to retain bantamweight title


WBC bantamweight champion Shinsuke Yamanaka defended his title for a fifth time with a ninth-round knockout of Mexican Alberto Guevara on Sunday in Tokyo.

Japanese southpaw Yamanaka hit the challenger with a left hand — dubbed “God’s left” by his fans — 25 seconds into the ninth round to end the contest, improving his unbeaten record to 20 wins with two draws and 15 knockouts.

“My opponent was moving a lot and making me sweat,” the 31-year-old Yamanaka said.

“He didn’t leave much space for me to get inside, but I could see that I was getting closer and closer and eventually I was able to get in there with a good punch.”

Yamanaka floored Guevara four times in the eighth round at Ryogoku Kokugikan, the spiritual home of sumo in the capital, breaking open a cagey fight in which the champion had led on points.

“If I have the chance to have a big fight at super bantamweight, I’d like to take it,” said Yamanaka. “I’d like to fight in Las Vegas next year or the year after.”

It was Guevara’s second career defeat and takes his record to 18 wins and two losses with six knockouts.