By Jake Donovan
A much desired showdown between top bantamweights Shinsuke Yamanaka and Anselmo Moreno has finally come to fruition, even if perhaps one fight too late.
The two will collide on September 22 in Japan, according to multiple reports coming out of Moreno's native Panama.
Yamanaka (23-0-2, 17KOs) will attempt the ninth defense of the bantamweight belt he's held since Nov. '11. The unbeaten southpaw from Tokyo is coming off of a 7th round stoppage of Diego Santillan in May, reaffirming his position as de facto bantamweight leader.
Moreno (35-3-1, 12KOs) has been out of the ring since conceding his title to Juan Carlos Payano last September. The technical decision loss brought forth an end to a reign dating back to 2008, racking up 12 title defenses along the way.
The lone loss suffered by Moreno over the stretch of his title run prior to Payano came in Nov. '12, dropping a heartbreaking decision to then-unbeaten junior featherweight titlist Abner Mares.
His showdown with Yamanaka marks Moreno's first career trip to Japan, but the third time he travels to the home region of a defending titlist. His bantamweight reign began with a pair of wins over the excellent Wladimir Sidirenko in Germany, and his failed bid at a junior featherweight crown came in Los Angeles, Mares' home region.
The hosting venue and network(s) have yet to be announced, though Nippon TV in Japan will likely televise the bout, as well as TV Max Channel 9 in Panama.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox