Former WBA 118 pound champion Anselmo Moreno (35-4-1, 12 KOs) suffered a bitterly controversial 12 round split decision loss on Tuesday night against WBC bantamweight champ Shinsuke Yamanaka (24-0-2, 17 KOs) in front of Yamanaka’s home fans in Tokyo, Japan. The 30-year-old Moreno was the one who was scoring with the sharper shots in virtually every round of the fight, and the one who was looking better with his command of the fight.
Moreno’s ring generalship was very much in evidence from the 1st round till the 12th and final round. The judges scored the fight 115-113, 115-113 for Yamanaka, and 115-113 for Moreno.
Yamanaka is the World Boxing Association Super Champ, but he didn’t fight like one tonight, as Moreno was able to pick him off with shots over and over again in the fight.
The south Yamanaka landed some nice shots in the first couple of rounds in breaking through Moreno’s airtight defense. However, Moreno was able to connect with a far higher amount of shots than the Japanese fighter in the first 2 rounds. I had Moreno winning those rounds by a landslide.
Yamanaka fought well in the 3rd round in nailing Moreno with some solid left leads. The shots were thrown with a lot of speed and power, which is why they were able to land.
This was Yamanaka’s ninth defense of his WBA title, but with the controversial scoring, I can see how he was able to defend his title nine times. If the judges had come into the fight with their glasses on, they would have seen clearly that Moreno did more than enough to deserve the decision. It was just really, really poor scoring for the fight. It’s kind of sad for the southpaw Moreno, because he was nailing Yamanaka at will with his jabs and left hands. I don’t know how two of the judges scored the fight for Yamanaka.
The fight had open scoring courtesy of the World Boxing Council, which uses that type of scoring for some reason. After the eighth round, the judges had it scored 76-76, 76-76 and 77-75 for Moreno. Two of the judges were more impressed with the work that Yamanaka did in the last four rounds. I wasn’t. I thought Moreno won 3 of the last 4 rounds of the contest to win a comfortable decision.
Moreno really had his way with Yamanaka in rounds 9 through 11. Yamanaka fought well in the 12th, as he was looking for a knockout and looking desperate.