Since last December we had been hearing a lot of talk regarding a bout between WBA Super Featherweight "super" champion Takashi Uchiyama (24-0-1, 20) [内山 高志] and Jamaican star Nicholas Walters (26-0-1, 21). The talks seemed to be pointing towards a deal being reached shortly between Watanabe, who manage Uchiyama, and Top Rank, who promote Walters.
Over the last few days the story developed to suggest that the bout was being eyed for the under-card of the recently announced WBO Welterweight title bout between Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38) and current champion Timothy Bradley (33-1-1-1, 13), with Watanabe's team viewing the card as the best opportunity to get their guy some major attention.
Although the bout did look like it was all but ready to be announced it does seem like their has been a stumbling block, with Watanabe requesting a high amount of tickets for the show. The request appears to be one that Top Rank haven't been willing to agree to.
The request has come due to Uchiyama's popularity with Watanabe suspecting at least 100 fans would travel, and estimate up to 1000 which has been their original request. Given that the show is likely to feature Pacquiao's last bout the request does seem to be an overly large one however it could well be part of a ploy from Watanabe who are trying to get as many tickets for Japanese fans as they can, to try and give Uchiyama a sizeable support for the bout.
Whilst the request is unlikely to be fulfilled we suspect that Watanabe will be able to get a sizeable chunk of tickets and the bout will be made, but this is currently a major stumbling block and one that will need to be sorted out in coming weeks if the bout, which is one we really want to see, is to be made.
(Image of Uchiyama, Kohei Kono and Ryoichi Taguchi, courtesy of http://www.watanabegym.com)
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