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.
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.