Yamanaka beats Darchinyan in WBC bantamweight bout

By JIM ARMSTRONG

AP Sports Writer

TOKYO (AP) Japan's Shinsuke Yamanaka defended his WBC bantamweight title on Friday with an unanimous decision over Australia's Vic Darchinyan.

Yamanaka overpowered his opponent in the late rounds at Tokyo International Forum in his first defense of the title he won by beating Mexico's Christian Esquivel in November 2011.

The judges scored the bout 117-111, 116-112, 116-112 all in favor of Yamanaka, who improved to 16-0-2 with 11 knockouts. Darchinyan dropped to 37-5-1 with 27 KOs.

"It pretty much went according to plan," the 29-year-old Yamanaka said. "I was able to land some good punches and take the momentum from him as the bout went on."

Darchinyan dominated the early rounds but Yamanaka opened a cut over his opponent's right eye with a left in the fifth round and the challenger never recovered.

Yamanaka staggered Darchinyan with another left in the 11th round. Darchinyan desperately attempted a comeback in the final round but was unable to cause any damage to the champion who had plenty of energy left.

In a WBC super featherweight bout, Japan's Takahiro Aoh celebrated his 28th birthday by defending his title with an unanimous decision over Thailand's Terdsak Jandaeng. Aoh improved to 23-2-1 with 10 KOs while Terdsak fell to 46-4-1 with 31 KOs.

"This was a great way to celebrate a birthday," Aoh said. "I was very motivated and determined to make it a great day and everything worked out in my favor."

The judges scored the bout 116-112, 116-112, 118-110 all in favor of Aoh.

Updated April 6, 2012

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