Uchiyama’s eye injury on the mend


Takashi Uchiyama said Monday his right eye injury sustained in the successful fifth defense of his WBA super featherweight crown last month is healing well and he hopes to return to sparring next month.

“The wound has almost completely healed over. Sparring will start once we get into October,” said Uchiyama, whose fight against challenger Michael Farenas of the Philippines on July 16 was ended after a slight cut over his eye sustained by another headbutt in the second round opened up further from an inadvertent bump to the head.

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.

Uchiyama will make his sixth title defense in either December of January, with his opponent expected to be top-ranked challenger Bryan Vazquez of Costa Rica.

“At the moment I am putting a lot of running in and once I have started sparring I want to be able to have my body ready to fight at any time,” said Uchiyama.

Uchiyama’s close friend Ryota Murata won the middleweight title at the London Games, the first Japanese in 48 years to win an Olympic boxing gold medal gold.

“It’s encouraging that someone close to me won an Olympic gold medal. I have to show that I can fight better,” said Uchiyama.