Nonaka keeps WBO AP 160lb belt

By Joe Koizumi

Veteran southpaw Yuki Nonaka (34-10-3, 10 KOs) sustained a bad gash on the nose bridge but retained his WBO Asia Pacific 160-pound belt in his initial defense as he eked out a split verdict (117-111, 115-112 for Nonaka, 112-115 for Yang) over Korean Hyun-Min Yang (8-3, 7 KOs) over twelve gory rounds on Monday in Osaka, Japan.

Photo: Boxing Beat

Nonaka, 41, had acquired the WBO AP and OPBF belts by defeating Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa in Osaka this February, but renounced the latter to pave the way for Hosokawa and Koki Tyson to vie for the vacant regional belt. Yang, 26, opened a gash on the champ’s nose in round six, but Nonaka utilized his footwork to outpunch the game challenger down the stretch.

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