Japan’s Takashi Uchiyama TKOs Costa Rica’s Bryan Vazquez

Japan’s Takashi Uchiyama battered Costa Rican challenger Bryan Vazquez to win by technical knockout and retain the WBA junior lightweight world title on Monday.

Uchiyama (19-0-1, 16 Kos) was able to hurt the younger Vazquez (29-1, 15 Kos) before a large crowd at the Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo, and force a stoppage. It was the Japanese prizefighter’s sixth defense of the title he won by knockout over Mexico’s Juan Carlos Salgado in 2010.

Vazquez showed his strength in absorbing the battering attack of Uchiyama in the eighth round and couldn’t seem to return fire. Though he tried to slip the blows Uchiyama kept a steady stream of punches flowing as the Costa Rican boxer remained upright despite the blistering attack, but could not return counters with any conviction. With Vazquez’s head snapping back repeatedly, referee Raul Caiz Jr. finally stopped the fight at the end of the round.

The Japanese boxer has won every title defense by knockout except for his previous defense against Philippine slugger Michael Farenas. That fight, that took place this past July in Yokohama, Japan, ended in a technical draw after three rounds. Farenas recently fought and lost to Cuban speedster Yuri Gamboa this past December in Las Vegas. Gamboa holds the interim version of the WBA title. It looks like Gamboa may be headed for a showdown with Uchiyama.

The Costa Rican challenger Vazquez is only 25 years old and had previously shown grit this past summer when he stopped Mexican veteran Jorge Lacierva in the ninth round. In one of the most flagrant exhibitions of dirty tactics by the Mexican prizefighter, Vazquez was still able to ward off the illegal blows and knock out Lacierva in Tijuana for the WBA interim title.  The loss to Uchiyama should provide Vazquez with a better idea of what flaws he possesses and the remedies needed. It was Vazquez; first actual world title challenge.