In what is becoming an annual tradition, Japan's best talents rang in the New Year with world title defenses on separate cards on opposite ends of the country.
At the Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo, WBA junior lightweight titleholder Takashi Uchiyama (21-0-1, 17 knockouts) made the eighth successful defense of his title with a unanimous decision victory over compatriot Daiki Kaneko (19-3-3, 12 KOs), while WBC junior lightweight titleholder Takashi Miura (27-2-2, 20 KOs) stopped Dante Jardon (24-4, 20 KOs), of Mexico, at the :55 mark of round nine.
Uchiyama, 34, was dropped in round 10 but won by scores of 117-110 on all three cards, while Miura scored a fifth-round knockdown of the relatively inexperienced Jardon en route to his second successful defense.
Uchiyama is rated No. 1 by THE RING at 130 pounds, while Miura is rated No. 7. Uchiyama and Miura faced one another in 2011, with Uchiyama winning by eighth-round TKO.
Also on the card, Carlos Cuadras (29-0, 24 KOs), of Mexico City, scored a second round TKO win over Thai Songseanglek Phosuwangym (1-10) at the 2:22 mark. Cuadras is rated no. 2 by THE RING at junior bantamweight.
At the Bodymaker Colosseum in Osaka, WBA junior flyweight titleholder Kazuto Ioka (14-0, 9 KOs) defeated Felix Alvarado (18-1, 15 KOs), of Managua, Nicaragua, by unanimous decision. The scores were 119-109, 119-110 and 115-113 in favor of Ioka, a former WBC/WBA unified strawweight champion and THE RING's No. 3-rated contender at 108 pounds.
Ioka's close friend – former WBA 105-pound titleholder Ryo Miyazaki – wasn't as lucky. Miyazai was stopped in round three by Thai Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (23-2, 15 KOs) at the 2:22 mark.
Miyazaki had moved up to 108 pounds after struggling to make 105, where he was rated No. 6 by THE RING.