By Hisao Adachi, Photos by Naoki Fukada
As reported late last night by BoxingScene.com, Mexico's Luis Nery has been stripped of his WBC bantamweight title after failing to make weight Wednesday ahead of his match against challenger Shinsuke Yamanaka.
While Yamanaka passed his pre-fight weigh-in for Thursday’s match at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Nery weighed in at 123-pounds and then 121 — which is still three pounds over the bantamweight limit of 118-pounds. The Mexican was able to lose a kilogram after a two-hour window, but came up short again in his second attempt.
As a result, the 35-year-old Yamanaka can earn the vacant title if he wins the highly anticipated clash against the 23-year-old former champion, which is a rematch ordered by the World Boxing Council following a doping investigation concerning Nery.
“My feelings on this bout were very strong. I wanted both of us to fight in a stable condition,” Yamanaka said. “But even so, there’s still a bout. I want to get my head straight and fight hard.”
The 23-year-old Nery did not respond to interviewers after the weigh-in, although his dietician in charge of weight management offered an apology to Yamanaka.
Nery won the bantamweight world title by denying Yamanaka a 13th straight title defense last August, but a week after the bout the WBC announced Nery failed a drug test performed in the lead-up to the fight.
Yamanaka said earlier this week he was determined to get revenge on Nery “for my family, for my country, for honor” by reclaiming the belt.