KASUKABE, SAITAMA PREF. – WBA super featherweight champion Takashi Uchiyama successfully defended his fifth title against challenger Michael Farenas of the Philippines on Monday, although it wasn’t what Uchiyama had in mind as the match was deemed a draw in the third round due to Farenas’ accidental headbutt.
The referee ended the fight after a slight cut over Uchiyama’s right eye sustained by another headbutt in the second round opened up further from an inadvertent bump to the head from Farenas at Wing Hat Kasukabe.
The 32-year-old Uchiyama, who had blood gushing from above his right eye, was unable to continue the bout, meaning he automatically retained the title in the draw.
From the opening bell, the champion responded with rights to the body against the southpaw Farenas, who kept Uchiyama off-balance with his sharp left.
“I feel there is no excuse for this boring fight since this was in front of my hometown crowd,” Uchiyama said.
“I didn’t fail in my title defense, but to me it was still a failure. This type of experience is really important, so I want to make sure to have a convincing victory in my next fight.”
Uchiyama’s record stands at 18 wins, 15 by knockout, and one draw.
In the earlier match of the world title doubleheader, Japanese challenger Yoshiyuki Igarashi defeated champion Sonny Boy Jaro of the Philippines in a split decision to capture the WBC flyweight crown.
Igarashi used a right jab to rack up on points, and brought Jaro to the ropes with some hard body shots.
The Japanese fighter took some hefty blows himself in the ninth and the Filipino opened a cut above his left eye in the 11th, but Igarashi brawled to the final bell to win a close decision.
“That’s the first time I have been hit with such heavy punches,” said Igarashi. “I didn’t win this fight with technique or physical ability but with my mental strength. I want to be able to stick my chest out and say: ‘I’m the world champion!’ That’s more important to me than how many title defenses I can get.”
Igarashi, who fought for Japan in the 2004 Athens Olympics, improved to 16-1, with 10 wins by knockout and one draw.