By Derek Bonnett: The second full week of August saw numerous titles changing hands as six belts were up for grabs among a host of SecondsOut ranked boxers. Overall, the world champions finished 3-3 against a varying lot of challengers. Japanese champions, Shinsuke Yamanaka, Akira Yaegashi, and Takashi Miura all notched world title defenses to extend their reigns. Nathan Cleverly of the United Kingdom, Daniel Geale of Australia, and Colombia’s Jonathon Romero all lost their belts to fighters claiming their first world title belts. It was an exciting week in the realm of elite class boxing and that’s just the beginning as other contenders remained On the Move.
On Monday, August 12, at Ota-City General Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan, Shinsuke Yamanaka took less than one round to dispatch Jose Nieves in a WBC bantamweight title bout. The end came at 2:40 after the champion badly hurt his opponent. Yamanaka scored his fourth title defense in moving his record to 19-0-2 (14). Nieves crashed to 22-3-3 (11).
Yamanaka held his number one ranking among SecondsOut’s top bantamweights, but has a Super Fight opponent right below him in Anselmo Moreno.
Also on the card, Akira Yaegashi won a unanimous decision over Oscar Blanquet in a twelve round WBC flyweight title bout. The three judges favored the champion 116-110 twice and 115-111. Yaegashi notched his first title defense and raised his ledger to 18-3 (9). Blanquet fell to 32-6-1 (23).
Yaegashi retained his number seven ranking among SecondsOut’s top 112-pounders.
On Saturday, August 17, in Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico, Takashi Miura won a narrow unanimous decision over Sergio Thompson in a twelve round WBC super featherweight title bout. Miura won by scores of 114-110, 114-111, and 113-112. The Japanese fighter marked his first title defense and raised his dossier to 26-2-2 (19). Thompson dipped to 27-2 (25).
Miura and Thompson flip flopped rankings to third and fourth respectively. However, Miura was hospitalized after the fight for liver damage and his future remains unsteady.
At El San Juan Resort & Casino, Isla Verde, Puerto Rico, Giovani Segura battered Jonathon Gonzalez into fourth round submission in a flyweight bout. Gonzalez hit the canvas multiple times, but only two knockdowns were ruled. Segura got back in the win-column and raised his numbers to 30-3-1 (26). Gonzalez fell to 13-1 (11).
Segura climbed to number nine in the SecondsOut flyweight rankings, pushing Toshiyuke Igarashi to the tenth spot.
At Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom, Nathan Cleverly was dethroned by Sergey Kovalev in four rounds of a WBO light heavyweight title bout. The Russian’s power exhibition impressed as he dropped Cleverly twice in the third before the bout was called at :21 of round four. Kovalev claimed his first world title and lifted his record to 22-0-1 (20). Cleverly suffered his first loss in falling to 26-1 (12).
Kovalev climbed from number three to number two in the SecondsOut light heavyweight rankings. Bernard Hopkins was pushed to third. Cleverly fell from seventh to ninth.
At Revel Resort, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA, Daniel Geale lost a give and take split decision to Darren Barker in a twelve round IBF middleweight title bout. Geale dropped Barker in the sixth round, but the challenger rose to claim his first world title. The scores favored Barker 116-111, 114-113, and 113-114. Barker elevated his professional resume to 26-1 (16). Geale dropped to 29-2 (15).