By Keith Idec
Luis Nery made sure Thursday that the only defeat he suffered in Japan this week was losing his WBC bantamweight title at the scale.
Mexico’s Nery made even quicker work of Japan’s Shinsuke Yamanaka in their rematch than he did during their first fight. The strong southpaw stopped Yamanaka in the second round of their second bout at Ryogoku Sumo Hall in Tokyo.
The 23-year-old Nery (26-0, 20 KOs), who beat Yamanaka (27-2-2, 19 KOs) by fourth-round TKO in their first fight, dropped Yamanaka four times on his way to quickly winning their rematch. Referee Michael Griffin stopped the action at 1:03 of the second round, after Nery floored Yamanaka with a right hook that left the 35-year-old former champion flat on his back.
Nery lost the WBC title Wednesday because he couldn’t make weight for their 118-pound title fight.
He weighed in at an astounding 123 pounds on his first attempt, five pounds over the limit. Nery lost two pounds on his second try, but couldn’t get lower than 121.
Yamanaka agreed to move forward with the fight because it still afforded him the chance to win back the title he lost to Nery on August 15 at Shimazu Arena in Kyoto, Japan. The WBC bantamweight title is now vacant.
Yamanaka tried Thursday to establish his jab at the beginning of their rematch, but Nery quickly overpowered him.
Nery’s overhand left to the side of Yamanaka’s head dropped him late in the first round. The former champion got to his feet, answered Griffin’s commands and made it to the end of the round.
Nery needed little time in the second round to finish off his older, slower opponent.
A crushing straight left by Nery sent Yamanaka to the seat of his trunks. Yamanaka got up again and tried to continue, only to have Nery send him to the canvas for the third time in the bout with a jab.
Griffin again let the action resume, but Nery’s right hook knocked Yamanaka flat on his back. That’s when Griffin waved an end to the fight.
Because he didn’t make weight, Nery’s victory Thursday over Yamanaka was tainted, much like his win in their first fight.
Their immediate rematch was ordered by the WBC on October 31 because Nery tested positive for a banned substance, zilpaterol, after beating Yamanaka six months ago. The WBC allowed Nery to keep its bantamweight championship, however, because zilpaterol, much like clenbuterol, often is found in contaminated meat in Mexico.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.