By Joe Koizumi
Unbeaten WBC#2/WBA#4 super-feather champ Takashi Uchiyama (13-0, 10 KOs), 130, kept his OPBF belt as he pummeled OPBF#1 Philippine titlist Aaron Melgarejo (17-7-1, 6 KOs), 130, into submission at 1:01 of the seventh round on Saturday in Tokyo, Japan. Uchiyama, formerly four-time national amateur champ, registered his fifth defense of the regional belt when his lopsided assault caused the loser’s cornerman to toss in the towel for surrender. Melgarejo positively threw solid left-right combinations, almost all of which were averted by the champ’s excellent defensive skills. Uchiyama, one of the brightest prospects here, often displayed well-timed counters and wicked body shots that visibly weakened the game challenger.
In a companion OPBF title go, WBA#3/WBC#5 super-fly Kohei Kono (24-4, 8 KOs), 114.75, also retained his belt as he surprisingly hit the deck in the first, but dropped back OPBF#1 Marvin Tampus (21-9-2, 13 KOs), 114.75, in the final session, winning a unanimous nod (116-111 twice and 116-110) over twelve. Kono had previously failed to wrest the WBA 115-pound belt from compatriot and current champ Nobuo Nashiro via split duke in September last year, and regained his OPBF throne by defeating Filipino ruler Daniel Ferreras on points this May. This was Kono’s initial defense since. Promoter: Watanabe Promotions.