By Joe Koizumi
Photo: Boxing Beat
Unbeaten WBA super-feather champ Takashi Uchiyama (18-0, 15 KOs), 130, impressively unified the WBA 130-pound belts as he effectively outpunched WBA interim ruler Jorge Solis (40-4-2-1NC, 29 KOs), 130, and finally flattened him with a looping left hook at 0:19 of the eleventh round on Saturday in Yokohama, Japan.
The referee Roberto Ramirez (Puerto Rico) didn’t bother to count against the stretched loser and promptly declared a stoppage, so it was registered as a TKO victory for Uchiyama by our commission (not a KO win after ten count). Ramirez said afterwards, “You have a good champion.”
Thanks, Roberto. Uchiyama now scored five consecutive stoppages in world title bouts, including his title-winning twelfth round TKO over Juan Carlos Salgado in January 2010. He obviously proved he could punch harder with better precision than Solis.
Before the trick happened, the judges had tallied as follows: Levi Martinez and Rafael Ramos (both US) both 98-92, and Wansoo Yuh (Korea) 99-91, all for Uchiyama.
Uchiyama, formerly amateur national champ, took the upper hand over the Mexican counterpart by landing jabs and one-two combinations in the opening session. Solis, who previously fought Manny Pacquiao and Yuriorkis Gamboa, coolly responded with long left hooks which looked sharp and swift.
The muscular champ, in round two, pushed Solis, forced him to the ropes and floored him with a left-right-left combination. But the referee called it a slip without counting against the temporarily fallen Mexican. Uchiyama corner yelled, “That’s a knockdown.” But the 32-year-old champ didn’t care about it and remained aggressive as he kept throwing fast jabs and one-two combinations to the still nervous interim ruler.
Uchiyama sustained a dislocated right hand after his last defense against Takashi Miura last January, and took an eleven-month hiatus since. He said, “While my right hand was recovering, I concentrated on honing my left hand. My jab and left hook whave become better than previously.”
As he suggested, Uchiyama showed his improved left leads, winning the third and fourth. Solis patiently came back with jabs and overhand rights, which couldn’t penetrate the champ’s tight guard.
The fifth saw Uchiyama land a looping right to the chin of Solis to have him reeling to the ropes. Uchiyama apparently controlled the fight and piled up points steadily. But Solis was still dangerous as he occasionally tried to counter the champ with strong left hooks.
Solis, nicknamed “Coloradito” due to his favor of red color, suffered a cut by Uchiyama’s legal punch in the seventh, and kept fighting with his face in crimson from then on.
All the judges gave the eighth to Solis, who threw punches more positively than in previous rounds, but this reporter evaluated Uchiyama’s effectiveness in hitting with the versatile left hand to render this round to the champ.
As Uchiyama accelerated his attack, Solis became slowing down. The champ maintained the pressure and hurt him with accurate combinations. The tenth witnessed him connect with solid combinations upstairs and downstairs to continually pin Solis to the ropes.
Just after the eleventh session commenced, Uchiyama’s explosive left hook caught the face of Solis, who became unconscious for minutes. Time was 0:19. It was really a final shot in the ring here this year. It was such a beautiful knockdown that fully impressed the crowd at Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium.
The jubilant champ said, “I’m happy that I could finish with my secret weapon, as I trained my left hand strenuously. I appreciate your support while I concentrated on treating my right hand, which has no problem now.”
Solis said, “Uchiyama was a good champion, as he can punch hard and was also skillful and fast. I admit I lost tonight. When I woke up after the knockdown, people were looking me down. Then I realized I lost. But I’ll continue fighting.”
There’s a rumor that Uchiyama may meet WBC champ and compatriot Takahiro Aoh, a fast-moving southpaw, in the near future. But Aoh may meet Italian Debis Boschiero in a rematch next spring, as recommended in the WBC convention in Las Vegas this December. Along with the WBC super-bantam ruler Toshiaki Nishioka, Uchiyama must be one of our best current world champs, which was proved this night.
Promoter: Watanabe Promotions.