Knockdowns rife as Yamanaka and Martinez retain world titles in Osaka
Shinsuke Yamanaka retained his WBC bantamweight title after dropping Belgian Stephane Jamoye four times in a comprehensive ninth round stoppage victory in Osaka.
Jamoye, 24, had to live up to his ‘Survivor’ nickname throughout the contest as the experienced Yamanaka continually hit the challenger with barrages of punches.
After putting Jamoye down in the second, two knockdowns followed in the eighth, although Yamanaka failed to finish the bout until the next round. The 31 year-old put Jamoye on the canvas for the final time early on and Hector Afu ended his misery with just 11 seconds gone in the round.
In the co-feature, Spaniard Kiko Martinez continued his stoppage streak with a fourth knockout on the bounce as the IBF super-bantamweight champion kept hold of his red belt by halting Hozumi Hasegawa.
The 28 year-old put the Japanese fighter down in the second and twice in the seventh of what at times was a competitive contest. Ex-world title holder Hasegawa was the one that ultimately ran out of steam though as Martinez superior strength and power saw him through.
Martinez finished the contest midway through the seventh session with a crushing left hook as Hasegawa attempted to regain his composure from a previous knockdown. Referee Robert Byrd waved off the fight as the corner threw in the towel simultaneously to record a 23rd stoppage in 31 wins for the champion.
Also on the bill, former WBC super-featherweight title holder Takahiro Ao recorded a third straight win since losing his green belt to Gamaliel Diaz in 2012 by out-pointing Mexican Marco Lopez over ten rounds.
The southpaw was awarded the contest 99-91, 98-94 and 96-95 to improved to 26-3-1, whilst Lopez dropped to 23-4 on the back of his second defeat in a row.
Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay for tweets of upcoming news on WBN