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Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Uchiyama, Miura, Ioka retain titles

By Dan Rafael

Japanese fight fans rang in 2014 with a pair New Year’s Eve cards featuring three world title bouts and an upset in a nontitle match.

In Tokyo, junior lightweight titleholders Takashi Uchiyama and Takashi Miura each retained his belt.

Uchiyama (21-0-1, 17 KOs) survived a 10th-round knockdown to outpoint Japanese countryman Daiki Kaneko (19-3-3, 12 KOs). Uchiyama, making his eight title defense, won 117-110 on all three judges’ scorecards.

Miura (27-2-2, 20 KOs), a Japanese southpaw, dominated Mexico’s Dante “Crazy” Jardon (24-4, 20 KOs) to retain his title for the second time. Miura dropped Jardon in the fifth round and was way ahead on all three scorecards when he dropped him again to finish the fight at 55 seconds of the ninth round.

In Osaka, junior flyweight titlist Kazuto Ioka (14-0, 9 KOs) of Japan won a unanimous decision -- 119-109, 119-110, 115-113 -- and retained his title for the second time as he turned back the challenge from Felix Alvarado (18-1, 15 KOs) of Nicaragua.

In a nontitle bout on the undercard, Ryo Miyazaki (20-1-3, 11 KOs), who recently vacated his strawweight title to move up to junior flyweight for what was supposed to be a tuneup fight, was knocked out by Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr. (23-2, 14 KOs) of Thailand. Sakkreerin stopped him at 2 minutes, 22 seconds of the third round.

Miyazaki moved up because of trouble making the 105-pound strawweight limit but also had problems making 108 pounds, and he briefly collapsed from dehydration at the weigh-in.