For those that follow the Japanese scene it's fair to say that Uchiyama is an exceptional fighter who hits like a mule, takes a shot well and knows how to defend himself. Despite the defense and toughness of Uchiyama he has been down once, at the hands of the monstrously hard hitting Takashi Miura (25-2-2, 19).
Although Uchiyama did get up and defeat Miura, it was fair to say that Uchiyama had never felt a shot like the one Miura had landed on him. In fact it was more a shock that Uchiyama got up from the shot than that he was sent to the canvas in the first place.
Since the loss to Uchiyama, Miura has made a genuine name for himself thanks to a run of 5 victories, including a destructive victory over Gamaliel Diaz for the WBC Super Featherweight title.
Miura makes the first defense of his title as he takes on the exciting and dangerous Mexican Sergio Thompson (27-2, 25) on August 17th, in a fight we'd happily ear-mark as a "must watch" contest.
For those who haven't seen Miura he'll not blow you away in terms of skills. In fact with out trying to sound harsh he's actually very basic. What he does do though is bang, and we mean bang. As mentioned in the opening of this, he dropped Uchiyama which is a genuinely impressive feat and had the same shot landed on any other Super Featherweight they'd have stayed down.
As well as possessing a lethal left hand Miura is teak tough and although he was stopped by Uchiyama that was down to serious swelling around his face more than anything else.
When you combine a tough Japanese fighting spirit with dynamite power you know that you any fight they are in could, potentially, be a fight of the year. When you have Sergio Thompson in the opposite corner then you boost the chances of something special ten fold.
Thompson is a fighter who "burst" on to the world stage back in 2012 when he defeated Jorge Linares, of course a fighter who has been under the Teiken banner in the past. The victory over Linares, via 2nd round TKO, was a result that really shook the boxing world with many, ourselves included, really rating Linares highly.
Prior to the Linares win there was very little to really say about Thompson. He had lost in his most notable bout, a split decision at home, to Alisher Rahimov and really had little else of note on his record.
Since the victory over Linares, Thompson has defeated several C level opponents but hasn't managed to get another notable name in the ring. He has, for all intents and purposes, become a member of the "who needs him?" club. Dangerous, very hard hitting, very offensive and very difficult to beat. He was almost cast aside waiting for an opportunity that at one point never looked like it was going happen.
Thanks to Mexican backers however Thompson has managed to get his well earned shot at a WBC title and lured Miura away from Japan.
With Miura being a fun to watch fighter, with power a flawed but offensive style and genuine toughness he's facing a fighter who is actually a bit like himself. However Thompson does seem to have a bit more to his game than Miura inside the ring, he certainly looks more willing to let his hands go for example and looks like a fighter able to wear people down as well as blast them out.
Stylistically the style match up seems to favour the busier Thompson who appears to hit just as hard as Miura but throws more. Saying that though, Miura is more tested having faced Uchiyama, Diaz and a number of Japanese fighters. Yes, the win over Linares is the biggest win between the two men though the quantity of good wins is with Miura who maybe defending his title for the first time but is fighting in his 3rd would title bout.
Going in to this fight we need to admit we do favour Thompson. Fighting away from Japan for the first time won't do Miura any favour and although he's tough and hard hitting he will probably get out worked here and unfortunately ground down.
It'll be a great fight as long as it lasts, don't get us wrong there, but we tend to think that Miura gets stopped in the middle rounds after hurting Thompson at least once.