'Fatherhood made me stronger’
Shinsuke Yamanaka has retained his WBC bantamweight title by stopping Malcolm Tunacao of the Philippines in the twelfth round.
The 30-year-old Japanese fighter knocked Tunacau down twice in the third round with a straight left in a tournament in Tokyo on Monday.
It was the same left that knocked a bloodied Tunacao down again before the referee stopped the bout 1 minute and 57 seconds into the final round.
"I was ready to knock him out, but he was also fighting pretty well. I got married and I have a child now; that made me stronger," said Yamanaka.
"A title unification match is always one of my targets. I’d welcome any title fights against the WBA, IBF or WBO champions."
It was Yamanaka’s third defence of the title that he won in November 2011. He is still undefeated after 20 bout, including 13 knockouts and two draws.
Tunacao’s record now stands at 32 wins, including 20 KOs, three defeats and three draws.
On the same bill, Akira Yaegashi beat fellow-Japanese Toshiyuki Igarashi on points to take over the WBC flyweight title. The scores were 115-110, 116-109 and 117-108.
"It's like a dream. A small boxer like me was able to fight in a big class. It was a nice challenge. I'm the strongest in the world," said Yaegashi, who had lost four times to Igarashi when they were amateurs.
Yaegashi led 3-0 after the fourth round and by the same score after eight rounds. Both fighters were penalised for butting and both were cut around the eyes.
Igarashi was nearly knocked down in the 11th but saw out the fight. It was his second defence. His record now stands at 17 wins, including 10 knockouts, two defeats and a draw.
Yaegashi, 30, improved his record to 17 wins, including nine KOs, and three defeats.