The bad year for the Watanabe Gym, and on a personal level for Takashi Uchiyama (24-2-1, 20) [内山 高志], continued today with the veteran suffering a second successive loss to Panama's Jezreel Corrales (21-1-0-1, 8), though unlike the first bout this time things were very competitive and Uchiyama had more than a few moments of success.
Uchiyama tried to take control of the pace here by using his deliberate jab to slow the pace of the champion, who simply overwhelmed him with speed when the two fighters faced off back in April. Feeling more confident Uchiyama started to apply some pressure in round 2 but Corrales moved well to neutralise the pressure and landed a powerful left. Uchiyama withstood the blow, which made a surprisingly loud noise, and continued to try and apply pressure.
By round 4 Corrales was switching up his stance and Uchiyama seemed to realise that Corrales' feet could prove problematic. A counter in round 5 gave Uchiyama some worries but the Japanese favourite withstood it before dropping Corrales later in the round, scoring the fights sole knock down. Despite the knockdown Corrales was back to showing his ability in round 6 and seemed to win the round.
The action following was close but it seemed like Corrales flashier shots and movement impressed the judges more than Uchiyama's heavier and more controlled approach, despite the crowd clearly being behind the local veteran. Those close and competitive rounds were ones that the locals would have felt Uchiyama deserved but the judges, who were split on a number of them, seemed to favour the champion in, despite a very good round 10 from Uchiyama where he had real success to the body. Interestingly that was the only round, other than round 5, that one judge actually gave to Uchiyama
Coming in to the final round it seemed the bout was up for grabs, and was going to be decided by what the judges preferred. Sadly though Uchiyama couldn't do enough to impress the judges enough, and came up on the wrong end of a split decision, a decision in which one judge, somehow, gave him only 2 rounds, including the 10-8 round. That lead to cards that read 117-110, a very questionable card, and 115-112 in favour of Guzman whilst the third judge had the bout 113-114 to Uchiyama.
It's worth noting that the judge with the widest card was Belgian Philippe Verbeke, who has frequently judged bouts in Japan but may not be invited again given his scorecard here.
Whether Uchiyama now retires, or looks to continue seems to be an interesting question, though the view from fans seems to be that retirement is looming for the popular puncher. For Corrales the reality is that the first bout flattered him, and he was run razor thin by a post-prime 37 year old Uchiyama here. He'll likely be able to keep the title for a while but would be well advised to avoid a fight with someone like Vasyl Lomachneko who would take care of him relatively easily on this performance.
Every so often boxing gives us a major upset, a shock, a earth shattering shock. That happened today when long reigning WBA Super Featherweight “super” champion Takashi Uchiyama's (24-1-1, 20) [内山 高志] was stopped, inside 2 rounds, by Panama's Jezreel Corrales (20-1-0-1, 8), who dethroned Uchiyama after 11 successful defenses.
The fight with Uchiyama looking to use his 1-2 to ease way into the bout and get a read of the tricky Panamanian. Corrales however seemed to have the edge in speed and ended looked aggressive towards the end of the round with his speed clearly bothering Uchiyama.
In the second round Uchiyama decided to change tact and brought pressure early on. That however played into the hands of Corrales who found a home for his straight left hand which dropped Uchiyama. After recovering to his feet the champion was quickly sent down for a second time and Corrales smelled blood rushing in for the finish. A finish that came moment later when Uchiyama was put down for a third time, following an assault with Uchiyama on the ropes.
The official time was 2:59 of round 2
The shock of the result, which had hit twitter before the bout was aired, sent shock waves through Japanese boxing with a number of fans suggesting that those in the venue had lied about the result though quickly it emerged that those fans at the venue weren't on the wind up and that the long reigning champion had indeed been beaten.
Given the manner of the result Corrales has sent a statement though the boxing world and potentially set himself up for a very long reign in the 130lb division as well as potentially securing the 2016 Upset of the Year. His confidence, speed and skill will make him a handful for almost anyone. For Uchiyama however this bout could well be the end. It's been a frustrating career at times, with injuries and problems securing big name opponents but this isn't the way he'd have wanted to end things.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Japanese boxing has a number of domestic records that have become targets in recent years, if not been broken. The most notable of those records has been the “speed” record, which has been broken three times in recent years courtesy of Kazuto Ioka, who won a world title in fight #7, Naoya Inoue, who did it in 6 fights, and Kosei Tanaka, who did it in fight #5. Another that is thought to be under threat is the “youngest” champion, with Riku Kano aiming for that one, currently held by Hiroki Ioka, and the most world title defenses.
That final record is held by the great Yoko Gushiken, who recorded an impressive 13 defenses of the WBA Light Flyweight world title back in the 1970's and 1980's. That record is coming under serious threat from destructive Super Featherweight Takashi Uchiyama (24-0-1, 20) who notched the 11th defenses of the WBA title today when he stopped Nicaraguan challenger Oliver Flores (27-2-2, 17) in 3 rounds.
Uchiyama, a massive betting favourite, started slowly and carefully against Flores, who was actively looking to land solid shots early on and get a foot hold into the bout. Despite the slow start the accurate Uchiyama was very deliberate and within the first 90 seconds had already shown his intentions, landing with a spiteful right hand.
The deliberate and controlled style of Uchiyama saw him take over the bout after 2 minutes and it quickly became a case of just how long would Flores survive, as he simply couldn't avoid the right hand of the champion.
Within 20 seconds of round 2 Flores rocked to his heels by Uchiyama. The challenger did well to stay in there but it really did look like he had nothing to bother Uchiyama who rarely moved out of neutral whilst landing jab and dangerous right hand will. Those shots took a toll on the challenger who was bruised under the right eye before the end of round 2.
Uchiyama finally moved into first gear in round 3 and it seemed like he had had enough of the exhibition. The start of the end came with a body shot, before two monster right hands up top seem to trouble Flores, it was however a gruesome body shot that finished the show. The shot seemed to lift Flores off his feet and plant him on he canvas face first, where he remained well after the referee stopped the bout.
With defense #11 wrapped up Uchiyama is closing in on the Japanese record, though looks set to make a different type of statement next time out. After the bout a member of Uchiyama's team restated their intention to kick off 2016 with a bout in the US and stated that his intended target was Nicholas Walters, a man whom is thought to have already agreed a bout with Uchiyama for early next year. A win against Walters would be a huge statement win for “KO Dynamite” and would be the perfect way to introduce him to a US audience.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Japanese puncher Takashi Uchiyama (23-0-1, 19) is known by the name “Knockout Dynamite” . He's one of the hardest puncher, pound-for-pound, in the sport and that shown today when he recorded the 10th successful defense of his WBA Super Featherweight title, and iced the previously unbeaten, and teak tough, Jomthong Chuwatana (9-1, 4).
Coming in to the bout we were thinking that Uchiyama, at 35 years old, was on the slide and had seen much better days. We were wrong however as Uchiyama rolled back the clock and put on one of his most impressive performances to date whilst punctuating things with a brutal KO of the year contender.
The bout started tactically with both trying to control the distance, it didn't take long however for Uchiyama to connect with a thunderous right hand that rocked Jomthong and put him on to his heels. A follow up attack put Jomthong in the corner and Uchiyama went for the kill landing a number of huge shots whilst Jomthong tried to recover.
The Thai saw out the storm, some how surviving the onslaught, and managed to fight back at the end of the opening round. It was clear however that he had been hurt.
In the second round things again started slowly with a tactical bit of feeling out. That was until the pace quickened and Uchiyama let his intentions be known with a huge right hand that just whizzed past the challenger. It was clear that Uchiyama wasn't here to play about and was instead intent on finishing this early. Not too much later a right hand did connect sending Jomthong's legs into a stumble before he went down, flat on his back. The referee began the count though waved the bout off mid way through.
It now seems that we may set for much anticipated rematch between Uchiyama and WBC title holder Takashi Miura, unless one of the men managed to get WBO champion Roman Martinez in to the ring in summer, if that happens the rematch may be put off until December.
For Jomthong it's clear he can come back from this, though it may take a while as the Thai seemed to suffer from some notable facial damage.
Note-This was Uchiyama's first defense since being upgraded to the WBA Super Featherweight "super" champion but his 10th defense in total
In the main event of the show from Tokyo earlier today fans saw the heavy handed Takashi Uchiyama (22-0-1, 18) successfully defend his WBA Super Featherweight world title with a dominant and clear, though well earned, victory over gutsy Argentinian challenger Israel Perez (27-3-1, 16) who looked like he was up for the biggest fight of his career.
The fight started well with both men trying to establish their jabs, it seemed clear that Uchiyama had the edge in skill and power but Perez wasn't to be intimidated and was happy to let his hands go in an attempt to catch the judges eye and inflict damage on the other man. At times it was a case of both men landing flurries on the guard though it always seemed like Uchiyama's guard was tighter, his offense sharper and his blows heavier.
With both men eventually establishing their jabs we then had a case of the two men attempting to build on them. One the most part that saw Perez getting inside and waling away whilst for Uchiyama it was clear he was hoping to land his hurtful straight right hand, one of the heaviest in the sport. Unfortunately for both their game plans were often neutralised as the other man covered up and soaked the pressure up well before trying to return fire. It made for an interesting affair, and one where Perez was certainly holding his own even if he wasn't quite able to win the rounds. It was certainly compelling.
Although having battled well early on Perez began to be put under more pressure in the middle portion of the fight as Uchiyama began to find a home for his right hand, even if it did sometimes need to be forced through the guard of Perez. Whilst Uchiyama's offense was getting better the same could not be said for the Argentinian who began see his body blows falling low and he received several warning for landing below the belt, though more often than not Uchiyama paid the low blows back with interest. Unfortunately the "wang bangs" seemed to do more to anger Uchiyama than anything and late in round 6 he began to turn the screw and let his wide array of power shots go, Perez saw off the assault but it was clear that Uchiyama had more in the tank.
Uchiayama began round 7 on the offensive, against putting his punches together, though ended the round having taken several borderline low blows as Perez began to struggle more and more with the Japanese fighter, despite showing real grit and toughness. That toughness was tested again in round 8 when Uchiyama against picked up the pace and it began to seem like he was hunting his 18th stoppage. Perez was doing all he could to stop Uchiyama, his tight guard tightening further and although he ate some body shots he was doing his best to survive and try to retaliate when opening arose, by then however Uchiyama didn't seem to care too much about what was coming back as he tried to find a home for his right hand.
Uchiyama continue to pressure Perez and in round 9 that pressure began to resemble bullying with the Argentinian being forced backwards a lot and even being cornered at one point. Perez was beginning to be broken down, hurt and was starting to look tired. He was still tough but his offense had completely shut down and even the low blows had stopped as he did more and more to survive.
The survival of Perez had seen him through 9 rounds but that was all as he retired in his corner between rounds 9 and 10. A beat man who was down on the cards and beginning to be beaten up.
For Uchiyama this was a great return to the ring considering he had been inactive for a year. The hope now has to be that 2015 will be a year where he reestablishes himself rather than sits on the side line like he has done this year, unfortunately. For Perez will likely be his sole major bout and 35 going on 36 we suspect he'll be back in Argentina picking up domestic wins before calling a close on his career with a few more small pay days.
When it was announced that Takashi Uchiyama (21-0-1, 17) would be defending his WBA Super Featherweight title against Daiki Kaneko (19-3-3, 12) the bout two very different reactions. From Western fans this bout was viewed as a pointless defense for Uchiyama against an opponent they hadn't heard of, for Japanese fans however this was viewed as the Japanese equivalent for Carl Froch's bout with George Groves.
Like Groves, Kaneko was a youngster who had shown a lot of promise, shown real improvement from his earlier bouts and was seen as a fresh, young fighter with real power of his own. Uchiyama, like Froch, was seen as the long reigning but aging champion who was tough as old boots and in possession of fight ending power. Although we didn't quite go with that view we understood the thought behind it and could see how Kaneko could give Uchiyama some problems, at least early on.
Surprisingly however it was late on that Kaneko gave Uchiyama problems with a knockdown by the challenger coming in round 10.
The fight started with the 2 men looking relatively even for vast swathes of the opening round or 2. Although they were relatively even it just seemed that the more memorable and eye catching shots were from the champion and through the first 4 rounds it was difficult to give Kaneko more than just a single round as Uchiyama looked like he simply knew too much for the challenger.
Although behind on the cards Kaneko did manage to land the best shot of round 4 rocking Uchiyama and proving that it wasn't just "KO Dynamite" who had power. The telling thing though wasn't that Kaneko was behind but that he was taking full blooded counters from Uchiyama with out ever looking hurt, in fact it was Kaneko that was looking the bigger, stronger and more powerful fighter.
The natural strength of Kaneko served him well in round 5 as Uchiyama managed to pick his game back up and land some solid shots which bloodied up Kaneko's nose. Despite the bloodied nose Kaneko still seemed to be the man coming forward as Uchiyama began to boxing on the back foot, using his movement and jab to try and avoid exchanges. The boxing of Uchiyama's continued through round 6 as he managed to claim the round despite only really winning the final 90 seconds of it as Kaneko struggled to land anything of note.
By now it looked like Uchiyama had seen out the storm and had awoken to the fact he was going to have to box to retain his title. Unfortunately for the champion he had done little but buy a temporary reprieve before Kaneko found a totally knew gear and gave Uchiyama an incredibly hard time through round 8. Although the champion looked like he might have stolen the round late it was fair to say that Kaneko probably deserved the round on his early work as he pushed Uchiyama hard.
Round 9 saw Kaneko again move up a gear as he pushed Uchiyama hard with his pressure. By now it was clear that Uchyama was going to do what he could to avoid a tear up with the younger man. The champion had built up a comfortable lead on the cards and wasn't going to risk it by going toe-to-toe with the younger, fresher man who appeared determined to make the most of his opportunity.
Having managed to really push Uchiyama in rounds 7, 8 and 9 Kaneko managed to really give Uchiyama a scare as he landed a perfect land hand that dropped Uchiyama. Kaneko tried to jump on the champion seeing his opportunity though unfortunately the there wasn't enough time left for the challenger to make the most of the opening. Surprisingly Uchiyama seemed to look more embarrassed in his corner between rounds than hurt and was the first off his stool to begin round 11. Although Uchiyama was off his stool before Kaneko it didn't stop the challenger from literally leaping off his to start the round.
With Uchiyama having been down in round 10 it was fair to assume that Kaneko would be trying to take out Uchiyama in the eleventh. As it turned out it wasn't just Kaneko trying to score an eleventh round KO but also Uchiyama as the men traded leather in a late contender for round of the year. The men unloaded bombs, they stood toe to toe and they went for it with reckless abandon. The trading actually favoured Uchiyama who left Kaneko's nose bleeding as he further inflicted pain on the impressive challenger.
The final round saw Kaneko needing a KO and he seemed to know it as he chased Uchiyama around the ring with bad intentions. Unfortunately for the challenger his inexperience worked against him as he walked on to a number of big shots and saw Uchiyama stepping away from his charges. This saw Uchiyama managing to control the round before really unleashing late and he rocked Kaneko for the first time. The round had secured his victory though it had also shown just how good, how tough and how credible Kaneko was as a challenger.
Knowing he hadn't gotten the much needed KO Kaneko didn't celebrate whilst Uchiyama, who knew he had been pushed incredibly hard, smiled almost admitting he had been given a really stiff test. If we looked at the face of the 2 men Kaneko looked like the beaten man, his face was swollen and bloodied but if we looked at the actual fight and performance then Kaneko was the big winner. He had gone from a man relatively unknown around the world to a man many are now tipping as a future world champion.
At just 25 years old Kaneko will certainly come again and if, as expected, he wins a world title in the future this fight will reflect well on both men. Like Takashi Miura, we think that Daiki Kaneko will go on to claim a world title somewhere down the line, and in fact a bout between Miura and Kaneko would certainly be fun to watch.
For those wondering the scores, all 3 judges had it 117-110 to Uchiyama, we had it much closer at 115-112.
WBA Super Featherweight champion Takashi Uchiyama (20-0-1, 17) made the 7th successful defense of his belt as he stopped the previously unbeaten challenger Jaider Parra (20-1-1, 10) with a genuinely vicious body shot.
Though bout actually started well for the challenger who boxed to his strengths early on and used his movement as well as his jab to keep Uchiyama away from landing his power shots. Although Uchiyama did manage to score an occasional eye catching blow they were few and far between as he applied constant pressure but used a conservative punch out put.
Parra boxed well through rounds 2 and 3 and even seemed to take the punches of Uchiyama well, though it did seem like Uchiyama was boxing well within himself and not taking any major chances as he tried to figure out what Parra had.
After having landed several clear head shots, including a love cross part way in to round 3 Uchiyama may have started to feel that he might have a long night in front of him (something he's certainly not used to). That changed drastically in round 4 as an Uchiyama body shot appeared to really rattle the challenger who as forced to take several follow up shots before the bell saved him. The attack, late in round 4 seemed to show a key weakness for Parra and it was jumped on very early in round 5.
Having been hurt the previous round Parra tried to use his legs to maintain a safe distance between himself and the champion. Unfortunately for Parra his legs were all but taken away as an Uchiyama body shot strayed low. The referee admonished Uchiyama for his transgression but it didn't take long for the Japanese fighter to take advantage of his wounded opponent. Just seconds after being told to continue Parra was cracked to the body and sent straight to the canvas where he ended up writing in agony until the 10 count was complete.
A rematch between Takashi Uchiyama and Takashi Miura looks like later this year, a bout many should be excited about as the WBA and WBC titles will be unified.
World Title Results
Whether you like them or not World Titles add prestige to any bout as a result we've included the results of world title bouts in this special section.