Incumbent Japanese world titleholders split a pair of bouts to Venezuelan challengers on Monday night, as WBA junior lightweight titleholder Takashi Uchiyama retained his belt with a fifth-round technical knockout over Jaider Parra, while Kohei Kono dropped the WBA junior bantamweight title to Liborio Solis by a majority decision at the Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo.
Uchiyama (20-0-1, 17 knockouts) of Tokyo, had no issues dealing with the previously-unbeaten Parra (20-1-1, 10 KOs) of Maracay, Venezuela, mugging the challenger before dropping him with a body shot for the count at the 2:15 mark. Uchiyama, 33, has now made seven successful defenses of the title he won with a twelfth-round TKO of Juan Carlos Salgado in 2010, with a technical draw against Michael Farenas last July being the lone blemish on his record.
Uchiyama remains the No. 1 ranked contender at 130 pounds by THE RING, one slot above the more popular Yuriorkis Gamboa.
The co-featured bout between Kono (28-8, 11 KOs) and Solis (15-3-1, 7 KOs) was far more competitive, as both men rose off the canvas in desperate bids to leave the building with a portion of the 115-pound title. Solis, who like Parra also hails from Maracay, was dropped early in Round 2 by a right hand before returning the favor to Kono, of Tokyo, in Round 8 with a left hook.
After twelve rounds, one judge scored the bout even at 113-113, while the remaining two turned in scores of 114-112 and 115-111 for Solis. Kono, who entered the bout ranked No. 6 by THE RING at 115 pounds, loses in his first defense while Solis wins his sixth straight fight since incurring back-to-back decision losses in 2010-2011.
Photo: Atsushi Tomura-Gettyimages
Ryan Songalia is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and contributes to The Ring magazine and GMA News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. An archive of his work can be found at www.ryansongalia.com. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.