The Super Featherweight division is one of Japan's strongest with 2 of the current world champions and a number of interesting contenders.
This past Wednesday saw one of those champions, Takashi Uchiyama (21-0-1, 17), being mentioned as a possible opponent for Mexican-American star Mikey Garcia (34-0, 28) in what would be a divisional super fight.
Uchiyama, the WBA champion, is the longest reigning active champion in the division having held the title for more than 4 years and although he does appear to be on the slide he is still regarded by many as the top fighter in the division courtesy of victories over Juan Carlos Salgado, Takashi Miura, Bryan Vazquez and Daiki Kaneko.
Aged 34 "KO Dynamite" is a well schooled and massive punching fighter who has genuine KO power and although he is slowing he is still a beast inside the US.
Garcia, the WBO champion, is a much younger fighter at 26 and is widely viewed by the US media as being an elite pound-for-pound fighter. He, like Uchiyama is a big puncher though he is younger, fresher and faster and would be favoured by the bookies against the Japanese fighter. Saying that however there is a decent chance the Japanese fighter would take the fight as it would give him a chance to prove he is the best in the division.
The bout, mooted by Garcia's promoter Bob Arum, would likely be in Macau if it gets made and although it wouldn't be great for American TV time it would be a great fight, one of the best that could be made at 130lbs.
We're thinking that whilst we would prefer to see Uchiyama rematch Miura this is a great match up and a chance for Uchiyama to show his talent to the wider world. We do however know that he isn't a big fan of travelling and may well refuse to take a fight with Garcia on grounds that it's not in Japan. Although Macau is a neutral venue he's likely view a fight with Miura, in Tokyo, as a better bout to part of.
Interestingly this story has broken just days after we learned that Miura wouldn't facing Mexican fighter Abner Mares. Whilst the stories aren't directly connected you can't help but feel their is more than just coincidence in Uchiyama's name being mentioned by Arum considering that Mares is a fighter promoted by his biggest rival Golden Boy Promotions.
(Photo, of Uchiyama, courtesy of http://watanabegym.com/)
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