by Cliff Rold
Bantamweight champion Shinsuke Yamanaka should be looking over his shoulder. A threat is coming on the horizon.
21-year old Luis Nery (21-0, 15 KO), 118, of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, scored his second straight impressive knockout on Saturday night at the Auditorio Municipal in Tijuana, scorching 29-year old former flyweight and Jr. bantamweight title challenger Richie Mepranum (31-6-1, 8 KO), 118 ¼, of Maasim, Sarangani, Philippines, in just two rounds. It was the fourth, and quickest, stoppage loss of Mepranum’s career.
The referee was Fernando Renteria.
The battle of southpaws started with Nery stalking, touching Mepranum to get close and then opening up with power shots. Mepranum fired back but found Nery a hard target, the Mexican blocking and slipping shots while landing long rights.
Nery stunned Mepranum a couple times in the first and went right after him to start the second. A left hand sent Mepranum to the floor and the Filipino was clearly in trouble. Rising to beat the count, he nodded to go on but the fates would not be on his side. Nery stepped in, feinted with the right, and sent Mepranum crashing to the floor again with a clean left to the chin. Renteria stepped in to halt the action immediately, the official time :41 of the second round.
Mepranum entered off an eighth round loss to then WBC 115 lb. titlist Carlos Cuadras in April 2016. Nery wins his second straight by knockout after stopping Jr. bantamweight contender David Sanchez in his last outing. Nery entered the bout rated #2 by the WBC, putting him in sight of a mandatory crack at Yamanaka.
Fans might want to get to know this young bantamweight sooner than later.
The card was televised in the US on BeIn Espanol, promoted by Zanfer.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene and a member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]