WBC Bantamweight champion Shinsuke Yamanaka (17-0-2, 12) made the second successful defense of his title earlier today surprisingly stopping the generally durable Mexican veteran Tomas Rojas (39-14-1-1, 26).
The champion had established control of the bout early on using his power and skill to neutralise Rojas' reach advantage, however Rojas was certainly still game going in to the second half of the fight. Sadly for Rojas however Yamanaka hits hard and hits quite often as Rojas found out prior to being dropped, face first for the count in round 7 in one of the genuine knockout of the year contenders.
For the 32 year old Rojas this could well be the end of the line after a long 16 year career which has seen him facing genuinely a who's who of top tier boxers ranging from Rosendo Alvarez to Vic Darchinyan. Amazingly this is just the third time Rojas has been stopped with Yamanaka joining Vic Darchinyan and Jorge Arce and this was arguably the most vicious of the three.
With Rojas' career now in tatters it's fair to suggest that Yamanaka will rightfully be claiming the plaudits. This is a bought I genuinely expected to go the distance but Yamanaka's power wouldn't allow that to happen. I'd now like to see the 30 year old Japanese fighter in with one more top Bantamweight, be it domestic rival Koki Kameda (who faces Hugo Ruiz later this year) or exciting Thai Pungluang Sor Singyu (the current WBO champion) before perhaps looking to move up. Yamanaka is in a division that was red hot just a year or two ago however it's now somewhat weaker and aside from Anselmo Moreno (who may well end up staying at Super Bantamweight if he defeats Abner Mares) there is no one I'd expect to really give the Japanese fighter a real fight.