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Takashi Uchiyama, Celestino Caballero, Kazuto Ioka Retain Belts in Japan

Takashi Uchiyama and Celestino Caballero retained their belts in Yokohama.
Takashi Uchiyama and Celestino Caballero retained their belts in Yokohama.

Takashi Uchiyama TKO-11 Jorge Solis
(Recap: Jake Donovan @

Uchiyama improves to 18-0 (15 KO) with a left hook icing of Mexico's Solis (40-4-2, 29 KO) this morning in Yokohama, and I feel now has fully established himself as without question the No. 1 fighter in the world at 130 pounds.

Jake Donovan in the recap I linked just a couple of lines up said, "For those in the American boxing scene who were alleging that newly crowned titlist Adrien Broner was without peer in the 130 lb. division, Takashi Uchiyama would love for you to reconsider that claim."

He could not be more right. It might just be me (I know it's not) but the fawning over Broner seems bizarre. It's not so much the fact that he hasn't beaten anyone, because sometimes you can see great talent just shining through. And there is skill and talent in Broner, no doubt.

But we've seen him struggle badly the one time he fought a good fighter, and on paper, the fast-fisted, slick Broner should have been a horrible nightmare for slow, small Daniel Ponce De Leon. Instead many felt Ponce De Leon was robbed. But since Broner's put the hurt on the likes of Jason Litzau and Martin Rodriguez, we're being fed the idea that he's some unbeatable prospect/"champion," and man, I think that is straight up setting him up to be disappointing more than he should be.

Uchiyama is a meat-and-potatoes fighter. He's sturdy, he's strong, he doesn't screw up much, and given that we saw Ponce De Leon give Broner hell, I have no problem saying I'd pick Uchiyama to beat Broner if they fought. I think he's too good, and I'm not sure Broner is a fighter who takes being challenged well. So far he's a guy who shines when it's easy, to a degree that he inflates public opinion since so many seem to have difficulty remembering a whole year in the past. That's why we've got people hoping Shane Mosley gets another big fight. Everyone forgot him being booed out of MGM Grand for running from Manny Pacquiao all night. And everyone forgot Broner-Ponce De Leon.

Celestino Caballero UD-12 Satoshi Hosono
(Recap: Jake Donovan @

Caballero (36-4, 23 KO) won on scores of 119-108, 119-108 and 116-111, to retain his WBA featherweight title. Donovan says he may now move to 130, where he'll hope to fight Yuriorkis Gamboa (and I'd guess probably JM Lopez still, too).

One issue with the 35-year-old Caballero, as I've said many times before, is he seems to do well when he's in with guys against whom he can impose his overwhelming height and sloppy, slappy reach advantage techniques. But when you throw him in with someone he doesn't tower over, he struggles. That's why I picked Jason Litzau to upset him; because I'd seen Caballero against Jeffrey Mathebula.

But he'd have height on Gamboa or Lopez. Caballero has definitely slowed down some, and was never the wrecking machine some pegged him as for a short while, but he's beating good fighters and doing it on their turf. It's purely style stuff, really -- I might more quickly pick the mediocre Litzau to beat Caballero again than I would pick Gamboa to beat Caballero. The first one I know the issues. The second, I don't know for certain how Gamboa would attack a guy who's 5'11" and as awkward as Caballero can be.

Kazuto Ioka TKO-1 Yodgoen Tor Chalermchai
(Recap: Jake Donovan @


The best fighter in the world with under 10 pro fights is not Guillermo Rigondeaux. It's Kazuto Ioka (9-0, 6 KO), who also very well may be the world's best 105-pound fighter. He's certainly a lot more active than the other choice, Nkosinathi Joyi.

Ioka honestly has a very good argument for Fighter of the Year this year, but obviously that wasn't going to happen because he didn't do his fighting on HBO or Showtime and, again, 105 pounds.

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