Report and Photo by Joe Koizumi
Unbeaten WBA super-feather champ Takashi Uchiyama (19-0-1, 16 KOs), Japan, will make his seventh defense against also unbeaten Venezuelan Jaider Parra (20-0-1, 10 KOs) in Tokyo, Japan, on May 6. Uchiyama, fresh from his impressive stoppage of WBA interim champ Bryan Vazquez last December, said, “I wish to keep winning until my ultimate confrontation with another interim titlist Yuriorkis Gamboa.” Jaider is the younger brother of ex-WBA flyweight kingpin Lorenzo Parra, having once acquired the WBA Fedelatin 130-pound belt by defeating Joel Cerrud on points in 2010. We often see a world title doubleheader here, but it is the very first time that the challengers are both Venezuelans.
In a companion title go, Uchiyama’s stablemate and newly crowned WBA super-flyweight ruler Kohei Kono (28-7, 11 KOs) will risk his belt against interim champ Liborio Solis (14-3-1, 7 KOs), also from Venezuela, over twelve rounds. Kono, making his initial defense since dethroning Tepparith Kokietgym via upset fourth-round knockout last December, said, “I hope to fight as if I’m a challenger. I’ll definitely show my very best.” Solis, two years his junior at 30, gained the WBA interim belt by eking out a split verdict over Jose Salgado in December 2011 and kept it once last year. Since both are aggressive punchers, we may see their hot toe-to-toe confrontation.
How far is it from Japan to Venezuela? But the spiritual distance between the countries are close with our long fistic communications. We can easily remember world champs from Venezuela who previously fought here in Japan: Alfredo Marcano, Antonio Gomez, Betulio Gonzalez, Antonio Esparragoza, Leo Gamez, Jesus Rojas, David Griman, Eloy Rojas, Antonio Cermeno, Alimi Goitia, Jose Bonilla, Noel Arambulet, Gilberto Serrano, Yober Ortega, Edwin Valero and Jorge Linares. This reporter remembers many bad nightmares since most of them were victorious, dethroning our champs or defending their belts successfully. We look forward to watching good fights in the world title twinbill in May.