Ryan Songalia

Ioka, Uchiyama, Miura retain titles in Japan; Miyazaki upset

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.

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