Jezreel Corrales upsets Takashi Uchiyama with second-round KO
The six-year title reign of Takashi Uchiyama was brought to an unexpected halt Wednesday as Jezreel Corrales scored a second round stoppage at Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan to lift the WBA junior lightweight belt.
The 24-year-old Corrales (20-1, 8 knockouts) of San Miguelito, Panama knocked down Uchiyama (24-1-1, 20 KOs) three times in round two to pull off the upset win at the 2:59 mark. The loss ends Uchiyama’s title defense streak at 11, falling one short of the record for defenses at 130 pounds set by Brian Mitchell.
Corrales’ form on fight night was a marked improvement from the day before, when he needed three trips to the scales to make weight. From the opening bell it was clear that his hands were much faster than Uchiyama’s. The southpaw Corrales confused Uchiyama late in round one, turning orthodox to rock him with overhand rights.
That scene would be a foretelling of things to come in the near future. Just 70 seconds into round two, Uchiyama would find himself on the canvas courtesy of a lightning fast counter left to the jaw. Uchiyama rolled over to one knee, then fell but somehow managed to stand up. He didn’t remain upright for long as a series of wide-swinging blows sent him back down for a count. Uchiyama went down once more, this time from a left as Corrales switched orthodox while plowing forward, to end the fight.
Uchiyama’s compatriots fared better on the title tripleheader card.
WBA junior flyweight titleholder Ryoichi Taguchi (24-2-1, 11 KOs) stopped Japan-based Venezuelan Juan Jose Landaeta (27-9-1, 21 KOs) after the eleventh round for his third successful defense, while Kohei Kono (32-8-1, 13 knockouts) retained his WBA junior bantamweight title with a unanimous decision win over Inthanon Sithchamuang (28-8-1, 17 KOs). The scores were 119-106 on all three cards.
Taguchi is The Ring’s no. 1 contender at 108 pounds while Kono is rated no. 6 at 115 pounds.