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Uchiyama, Caballero, Ioka Win Title Fights In Japan

The action on Saturday night, New Year's Eve, was in the land of the rising sun with two fight cards featuring world title bouts.

At Bunka Gym in Yokahama, Tokyo's WBA super featherweight champion Takashi Uchiyama faced the challenge of Interim titlist Jorge Solis of Mexico.

After five OPBF defenses, Uchiyama had won the WBA crown a year ago with a 12th round stoppage of previously undefeated Juan Carlos Salgado and had mounted three successful defenses, all ending inside the distance.

Solis was coming off a failed bid in March to knock off reigning featherweight world champion Yuriorkis Gamboa, a bout in which Solis was downed five times before the contest was halted in the fourth.

Once the bout started last night, Solis used his considerable edge in ring experience to keep Uchiyama off balance in the first frame, using distance and sporadic attacks behind the jab to force the champion to constantly reset.

The Japanese slugger clipping Solis to the canvas with a right hand, although the Mexican was also pushed down, therefore ruling it a slip.

Solis regrouped and was frustrating Uchiyama with movement but aside from a nice right hand, was mostly missing his attempts and getting countered at times.

The champion increased his jabbing in the third but aside from a few good single shots was still unable to solve the style of Solis, who continued to use movement and activity to make the rounds close.

The challenger tried to pressure Uchiyama in the fourth but had to back off after taking a couple of clean punches to the head and a few to the body as well.

Solis then held the center of the ring, outboxing the local man until Uchiyama backed up the visitor and mauled him on the ropes, scoring with both hands.

Solis boxed well the rest of the round until he was caught with an overhand right to the ear in the closing seconds.

The crafty Mexican continued to cause Uchiyama problems in the fifth, outboxing the champion in the middle of the ring although Uchiyama was in the driver's seat any time he forced the visitor onto the ropes.

Uchiyama caught Solis with a nice counter left and caused the challenger to stumble but Solis wasn't hurt and got back in the bout by going well to the body before Uchiyama again pounded him near the ropes.

The champion upped his work-rate during the first half of the sixth but Solis turned things around after landing a hard left counter to the belly and outfighting Uchiyama until the Japanese man found range with the right in the final minute.

Uchiyama became more aggressive in the seventh, closing distance and finding the target with good right hands but Solis refused to give in, landing counter shots and clinching as much as he could to keep the champion from taking control.

Scrappy Solis continued to spoil and survive in the eighth but was taking more punishment until he finally found success over the last 30 seconds when Uchiyama seemed to tire.

The challenger held his ground over the first half of the ninth, hitting the target with a few right hands until he was bundled onto the canvas.
Uchiyama had the better second half of the frame, landing with body shots and right hands but still could not control the action.

The tenth featured good two-way action until Uchiyama caught Solis with the punch he had been trying to land all night, a massive full-blooded counter right.

Solis, who was now also cut above the right eye, managed to somehow survive the big right and the follow up assault, actually fighting well until he was shaken up by a left-hand body shot in the final seconds.

Within seconds of the start of the eleventh, Uchiyama landed a short left hook to the crouching Solis and the challenger was immediately stretched out on the canvas, unable to make an attempt to get up, as referee Roberto Ramirez Sr waved off the bout without counting at 0:19 of the frame.

After having taken several big punches in almost every round, this last shot proved to be just one too many, ending the brave challenge of Solis, who had outworked Uchiyama but didn't have the punch to ever hurt the champion.

Uchiyama retains his title for the fourth time, improving to 18-0 (15), while Solis falls to 40-4-2 (29), losing his second consecutive world title fight inside the distance.

Also on the bill was the first defense of current WBA featherweight king Celestino Caballero, who was meeting the challenge posed by former OPBF and current Japanese feather boss Satoshi Hosono.

The much taller Caballero proved as awkward as ever in the bout, presenting the very orthodox Hosono with an ever changing array of angles and unexpected punches.

Hosono, who lost a point in the ninth for rabbit-punching, was unable to deal with his gangly foe, landing no more than a few punches per round as he was hit by a wide variety of odd punches from the Panamanian champion.

Caballero moved to 36-4 (23) with a 119-108, 119-108 and 116-111 points verdict while Hosono drops his second world title attempt, falling to 21-2 (15).

At the Prefectural Gymnasium in Osaka, local man and WBC minimumweight champ KazutoIoka, 9-0 (6), made short work of WBC Youth titlist Yodgoen Tor Chalermchai, 8-1 (4), halting the Thai fighter at 1:38 of the first frame.

In the chief support bout, former two-time WBA super flyweight supremo Nobuo Nashiro, 16-4-1 (10), returned to the ring just two months after an unsuccessful attempt to capture the WBC belt, knocking out the grossly over-matched Thai novice Norasing Patanakan Gym, 1-1 (1), at 2:36 of the second round.

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