• Kyodo


Unbeaten WBC bantamweight champion Shinsuke Yamanaka was named the 2016 Boxer of the Year on Friday by the Japan Boxing Commission.

Yamanaka, who also won the annual award three years ago, is second only to former WBA light flyweight champ Yoko Gushiken (13) in consecutive title defenses after extending his record to 11 in September.

“I’m genuinely happy. It gave me momentum going into my next bout,” said Yamanaka, who has a 26-0-2 record with 18 knockouts and will face ninth-ranked Mexican Carlos Carlson on March 2.

Yamanaka’s 11th title defense, his technical knockout against Panamanian Anselmo Moreno was named World Bout of the Year by the JBC, with the 34-year-old Yamanaka also winning the KO Award.

The Technique Prize went to WBO world super flyweight champ Naoya Inoue after he won three world title bouts to maintain his perfect record, which now stands at 12-0 with 10 KOs.

IBF super bantamweight champ Yukinori Oguni was won the Fighting Spirit Prize for defeating Jonathan Guzman of the Dominican Republic — who had won all his previous 22 bouts by knockout — in a unanimous decision on New Year’s Eve.

Retired former three-division champ Hozumi Hasegawa received a special prize for his career contributions, while former three-division winner Naoko Fujioka was named top female fighter for the second straight year.

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