by Cliff Rold
Unable to review the previously previewed Shinsuke Yamanaka-Vic Darchinyan battle, the grades aren’t in. If it shows up on YouTube this week, the grades will be added to next week’s post fight report cards.
If not, we at least know this much…
…Yamanaka has arrived as a player at Bantamweight. Consecutive wins over rugged, if slightly fringe, contender Christian Esquivel and now former two-division champion Vic Darchinyan mark the Japanese southpaw as a player on the rise. It’s the second really substantial win for the land of the rising sun in as many weeks with Yota Sato besting Suriyan Sor Rungvisai for the WBC 115 lb. belt last week.
And if Sato-Sor Rungvisai was a nod to Japan in their fistic rivalry with Thailand in the lower weights, Thailand got one back this very same weekend.
At mid-week, Tepparith Singwancha stopped Tomonobu Shimizu for the WBA Jr. Bantamweight title. It was his second impressive win on the road in as many fights, having decisioned Daiki Kameda in December to set up the Shimizu showdown. Singwancha hasn’t lost since 2008, a six-round decision against Sor Rungvisai ironically enough. Only 23, his future is getting brighter by the fight.
Could a future showdown with the recently deposed Sor Rungvisai give Thai fans something to get fired up about? Is Singwancha in the best position of anyone in his country to carry the torch into the next generation after the recent loss at Flyweight by Pongsaklek Wonjongkam?
It’s exciting enough for now to have the question there to be asked.
Report Card Picks 2012: 13-3
Cruiserweight: Denis Lebedev won another walkover and kept his slot but it’s worth wondering when he will get back to fighting serious foes at 200 lbs.
Bantamweight: Yamanaka makes a big move, including past countryman Koki Kameda who also picked up a win in the last week. Darchinyan remains rated, his win over Yonnhy Perez last year still worth remembering. One wonders if there will ever be another big win at 118 for the now 36-year old banger.
Jr. Bantamweight: Singwancha moves into the top slot while Shimizu slips with his fourth stoppage loss. While the now former titlist deserves credit for his win over Hugo Cazares last year, the split nod weighed against the rest of his career doesn’t merit keeping him ahead of Cazares for the moment.
Flyweight: Edgar Sosa got off the floor to keep his slot in the top ten.
The full ratings update is a click away.
Cliff Rold is a member of the Ring Magazine Ratings Advisory Panel, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]