Uchiyama hangs on to super featherweight title with knockout

Kyodo

Japan’s Takashi Uchiyama successfully defended his WBA super featherweight title for the seventh time on Monday, when he knocked out ninth-ranked contender Jaider Parra of Venezuela in the fifth round.

The 33-year-old Uchiyama knocked out the previously undefeated Parra 2 minutes, 15 seconds into the fifth round, flooring him with a left to the body.

“He was strong, in keeping with his undefeated record,” Uchiyama said. “I was thinking of trying to knock him out in the later rounds, but I decided it a little early.”

It was clear there was a gap in ability between the two fighters. In the early stages, Uchiyama dictated the pace as he cleverly worked his opponent with both hands, up and down.

Although Parra was repeatedly able to land left jabs, they had no telling effect on Uchiyama, who staggered Parra in the fourth round with a right to the chin.

Uchiyama improved to 20 wins and one draw, with 17 wins by knockout, while Parra fell to 20-1 with one draw.

In an earlier fight at Tokyo’s Ota City Gymnasium, Japan’s Kohei Kono lost his WBA super flyweight crown on Monday in his first defense of the title he won on New Year’s Eve.

The 32-year-old Kono lost by 2-0 decision to top-ranked contender and WBA interim champion Liborio Solis, who is also from Venezuela.

“I thought perhaps I’d won,” Kono said. “Truthfully, I think the low blow (for which I lost points) was not very low. I think the judging favored the other guy.”

Kono’s record fell to 28 wins, including 11 knockouts, and eight losses. The 31-year-old Solis improved to 15 wins, seven by knockout, against three defeats and a draw.