As you might have feared, WBA junior lightweight titlist Takashi Uchiyama is taking the first step toward essentially holding his title belt hostage in Japan, as it's being reported that Uchiyama will face woefully unqualified Venezuelan Angel Granados on May 10 at Saitama Super Arena.
Uchiyama (14-0, 11 KO) easily routed fluke titlist Juan Carlos Salgado to win the belt in June, and the 30-year-old is a legit top player at 130 pounds, boasting a strong amateur pedigree and good, solid ring skills.
Granados (18-8, 8 KO) lost a decision to Likar Ramos in November, his last ring outing. That fight was for Ramos' interim WBA title, which is now held by Jorge Solis. Granados did score a 36-second knockout of Juan Castaneda Jr. last June, but that's not looking so impressive now that Castaneda was also knocked out in 1:38 by Francisco Contreras on February 5. The best win on Granados' record now is probably a 2003 KO of Miguel Acosta, who has come on strong since then and last year knocked out Urbano Antillon.
This is one of those absurd title fights that has absolutely no business happening and serves only to fatten the pockets of a "champion" who apparently has no real ambition (here's looking at you, fellow WBA beltholder Felix Sturm) and a sanctioning body that will give a green light to just about anything.
It feels pointless to complain about fights like these sometimes, but you know, I'll never get over wanting this sport to seem more like a sport and less like it's nothing but business in situations like this. In the end, I guess I can just hope that when Uchiyama inevitably chews this guy up and spits him out, the WBA has a plan for what's next, like maybe matching Uchiyama with Jorge Linares, should Linares get past Francisco Lorenzo in his next fight. Or anything else that's remotely credible, so that we don't wind up with a complete joke of a title being defended by a very talented boxer.