Shinsuke Yamanaka (27-1-2) will face former adversary and current WBC world bantamweight titleholder Luis Nery (25-0) once again on March 1st in Tokyo, Japan. The date was confirmed at a press conference Friday conducted by promoters Teiken who handle former WBC title holder and current lineal title holder Yamanaka. The pair had originally met on August 15 of 2017 with Mexican Nery securing a fourth round stoppage over Yamanaka. Following the contest, however, Nery tested positive for the substance zilpaterol following an anti-doping test on the 27th of July. Nery had protested his innocence to the WBC stating that his food was contaminated with the substance which is used to increase the mass of cattle. The WBC eventually cleared Nery of any wrongdoing but ordered a rematch to take place between Nery and the former titleholder Yamanaka. Nery returned to action following his clearance from the WBC in a 10-round non-title bout against Arthur Villanueva on November the 4th in Tijuana, Mexico.
Following the August 15th contest Shinsuke had seriously contemplated retirement following a successful 6-year reign as the WBC world title holder at 118lbs till being defeated by Mexican Nery. Speaking to the press, Yamanaka states he will be regaining his title from Nery:
I’ll regain my belt from Nery with my utmost motivation and dedication, this time I’m a challenger and will win back the WBC belt.”
“If I had been effectively knocked out by Luis Nery, with me falling to the canvas, I could have hung my gloves forever, but the result of my defeat in that way does not convince me.”
“I went into the ring in excellent physical condition. I can not be satisfied with the outcome of that night. I cannot find the reason because I have lost, but I can not think about finishing my career in this way, with a defeat that does not convince me. I am not finished yet. My determination to return to boxing is great, and that is why I will do everything in my power to recover the green-and-gold belt.”
Promoters Teiken at the press conference also announced that the co-featured bout to the contest will see Ryosuke Iwasa (23-2) make the first defence of his IBF world super-bantamweight title against Ernesto Saulong (21-2-1) of the Philippines. Iwasa who is a former foe of Lee Haskins claimed the IBF title against Yukinori Oguni in September of last year with a 6th round stoppage over his countryman.