Yesterday it emerged that Uchiyama was in talks with a notable opponent who may be his next challenger.
Those talks have been with unbeaten Thai Jomthong Chuwatana (9-0, 4), who is the current OPBF champion and is a man that is very well thought of by those in the know and those who follow Muay Thai.
Jomthong is known to have been wanting a world title fight and was though to have been targeting WBC champion Takashi Miura. It seems however that a deal with Uchiyama has become more likely with the unbeaten world champion struggling to find willing opponents.
Jomthong is best known for his fights in Muay Thai though as a boxer he has been impressive. His record is, on paper, that of a novice but in reality he's an outstanding boxer-puncher and already holds wins over the likes of Yuya Sugizaki, Dong Hyuk Kim, Ronald Pontillas and Daiki Kaneko. Also, notably, he has wins in South Korea, China and 3 in Japan suggesting that he would be more than happy to travel to fight Uchiyama.
As for Uchiyama he is the longest reigning world champion at 130lbs and has and has impressively recorded 9 defenses of the belt, including stoppages over Takashi Miura, Jorge Solis and Bryan Vazquez as well as a decision over Daiki Kaneko. Aged 35 however Uchiyama is seen as a man in the twilight of his career and he is need of "big" fights, a bout with Jomthong would fill that criteria, especially given Jomthong's achievements in Muay Thai.
At the moment the bout is only in the negotiating stages but if it's made it would be a brilliant match up on paper and one we're really hoping to see.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)