Portopia Hotel, Kobe - WBO minimumweight world champion Ryuya Yamanaka (16-2, 5 KOs) retained his world title with an eight round TKO over Moises Calleros (28-8-1, 16 KOs) of Mexico, who was unable to continue after taking a pounding during the contest.
Calleros was unable to deal with the speed and the boxing ability of the champion. He attempted to slow Yamanaka down by going to the body in the early rounds, but it didn't seem to help.
For Yamanaka it was his first defense of the title since winning the belt last August with a twelve round unanimous decision over countryman Tatsuya Fukuhara. For Calleros, he lost a close split decision to Fukuhara last February when they battled for the interim-WBO belt, and then won three fights in a row to earn his world title shot.
In the co-featured attraction, a new world champion was crowned when Carlos Canizales (20-0-1, 16 KOs) of Venezuela captured the vacant WBA junior flyweight world title when he won a twelve round unanimous decision over previously undefeated Reiya Konishi (15-1, 5 KOs).
After twelve rounds of action, the scores were 114-113, 115-112 and 116-111.
A knockdown in the third round may have made the difference for Canizales, who had to withstand several attempted rallies from the hometown hero and managed to pick up the pace when needed in the second half of the contest to bank in points.
When Canizales made his last trip to Japan back in December fo 2016, he fought to a twelve round split draw with Ryoichi Taguchi - as they battled for the WBA title.
He then won three in a row, all by knockout, to earn the new world title opportunity.
For his part, Konishi was Japan's minimumweight champion after capturing the belt last April and then making two defenses. He moved up in weight to take the world title opportunity with both hands, but came up short against a determined away opponent.
This fight was for the WBA "regular" title, as Ryoichi Taguchi is the "super" champion at the weight and holds the IBF world title as well.