• Kyodo


Eleven-time WBA flyweight titleholder Takashi Uchiyama vowed Friday to surpass Yoko Gushiken’s record of 13 title defenses.

Uchiyama, who twice defended his championship last year by technical knockout, announced his goal when he received his 2015 Japan’s Boxer of the Year award. Gushiken’s mark is the most among Japanese men. Momo Koseki owns the overall Japan record, having defended her WBC women’s atomweight crown 16 times.

“I’ve finally got the award after six years (of winning my first title),” said Uchiyama, still unbeaten with 24 wins (20 by knockout) and a draw. “The best thing would be if I can have big fights and eclipse Gushiken-san’s record.”

Last May, Uchiyama beat Thailand’s Jomthong Chuwatana, and ended 2015 with a win over Nicaraguan Oliver Flores. The 36-year-old Uchiyama is now closing in on the record Gushiken set in 1981.

Kazuto Ioka, who became the fastest boxer in the world to conquer three divisions in April, when he defeated Argentine Juan Carlos Reveco for the WBA flyweight title, won the outstanding performance award.

“It’s been a year in which I could fulfill my dream,” said the 26-year-old Ioka, who is 19-1 with 11 knockouts to date.

WBC bantamweight champion Shinsuke Yamanaka was awarded the technique award after winning two title defenses. He will make his 10th defense against Venezuelan Liborio Solis in March.

“I’ll put my focus on the March bout and try to get the win in style,” said the 33-year-old Yamanaka, who has a 24-2 career record with 17 knockouts.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.