Shinsuke Yamanaka's near record breaking reign as the bantamweight world champion has been shattered.
Yamanaka stopped by Luis Nery in the fourth round in Tokyo to capture his first bantamweight world title in his career. After Yamanaka controlled the tempo early in the fight with his jab, Nery took charge with heavy punches in the third round and then unleashed a flurry of shots to Yamanaka as the champion was on the ropes. Yamanaka's trainer entered the ring to stop the fight and referee Michael Griffin waved the fight off at 2 minutes, 29 seconds of the fourth round, awarding the world title to Nery.
Yamanaka had made 12 successful title defenses prior to the loss to Nery and was bidding for No. 13, which would have tied the Japanese record for world title defenses set by Hall of Fame former junior flyweight champion Yoko Gushiken, who established the mark in 1980.
Nery's road to the title started early last year by winning the then-vacant WBC Continental Americas bantamweight title. At 22 years old, Nery is now the second youngest current world champion, one month behind IBF junior lightweight champion Gervonta Davis, who also won his first world title earlier this year. Nery knocked out Jesus Martinez in the fourth round of a title elimination bout back in March to earn the title shot against Yamanaka.
Nery joins Zolani Tete (WBO), Ryan Burnett (IBF), Zhanat Zhakiyanov (WBA "super") and Jamie McDonnell (WBA "regular") as the other bantamweight world champions.