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Headbutt Cuts Short Uchiyama-Farenas; Jaro Dethroned

By Jake Donovan

Takashi Uchiyama made the fifth defense of his alphabet 130 lb., though his bout with Filipino challenger Michael Farenas ended in anti-climactic fashion Monday evening in Saitama, Japan.

A headbutt midway through the third round left the defending titlist bloodied and unable to continue, resulting in a technical draw, according to ringside feedback from Boxingscene.com correspondents.

All of Uchiyama's wins during his title reign have come by knockout, including his title-winning 12th round stoppage of Juan Carlos Salgado in January '10. With that has come great anticipation whenever the 32-year old steps into the ring these days.

However, the defending titlist never had a chance to get going against Farenas, a fringe contender from the Philippines whose past several fights have featured headbutts and cuts. 

Monday's title fight was no different. Uchiyama looked to control the action in the early going, but was disrupted when a headbutt left him with a terrible gash over his right eye early in the third round. Time was called to have the wound examined, but the ringside physician saw no hope for healing, informing the referee to wave off the contest.

Because the contest did not extend beyond the fourth round, the bout was ruled a technical draw.

Uchiyama's record is now 18-0-1 (15KO). The bout technically serves as his fifth successful title defense, though certainly the least satisfying. The look of disappointment on his face was evident as Uchiyama stood center ring with a bandana serving as a makeshift tourniquet wrapped over his right eyebrow. 

The Japanese banger was coming off of a highlight reel 11th round knockout of Jorge Solis last New Year's Eve, serving as the signature performance of what has been a stellar title reign to date.

Each of his title fights have created enough buzz to where most industry experts tab Uchiyama as the greatest threat to current rising American star Adrien Broner, who fights this weekend. Monday's outcome didn't change that outcome any, though it also certainly didn't strengthen his cause.

Farenas heads back to the Philippines empty handed for his short night of work, as his record now stands at 34-3-4 (26KO).

JARO'S TITLE REIGN ONE AND DONE

The co-feature saw Sonny Boy Jaro's unexpected flyweight title reign end in its very first defense, suffering a split decision at the hands of Toshiyuki Igarashi. 

Jaro won 116-112 on one card, but scores of 115-113 and 116-112 in favor of Igarashi crown a new lineal champion in the flyweight division. 

The 30-year old Jaro scored perhaps the biggest upset of 2012 to date with a shocking 6th round knockout of two-time lineal flyweight king Pongasklek Wonjongkam earlier this year. The diminutive Filipino had fallen miserably short whenever stepping up in class, but delivered a career-best performance in flooring the legendary Thai four times before closing the show in the sixth round.

There was no such magic in Japan, although Jaro fought tooth and nail every step of the way in his best effort to keep the clock ticking his Cinderella story. Igarashi had other ideas, offering a disciplined enough performance to cope with the unconventional style of the now ex-champion. 

Constant lateral movement from the challenger proved to troubling for Jaro, who landed the more telling blows on the night but just not with enough frequency to win rounds. Igarashi’s jab also proved to be disruptive, even if never thrown with much conviction. 

Tense moments were provided down the stretch, as Igarashi was forced to contend with a gushing cut over his left eye. Jaro did his best to bust open the wound, but spent perhaps too much time treating it like a bulls-eye as his attack became one-dimensional. 

It was the right concept as Jaro needed something dramatic to happen in order to extend his title reign. However, the lack of a disciplined attack cost him dearly and nearly resulted in suffering a last round knockdown. Jaro hit the deck, though the sequence was correctly ruled a slip. Still, it was indicative of the Filipino’s evening, putting his best foot forward throughout but constantly coming up a step or two short.

Both fighters raised their arms in victory at the end of 12 rounds, but Jaro’s body language suggested a fighter who knew his days as champion were soon coming to an end. Still, the visiting fighter was ever the sportsman, going out of his way to congratulate Igarashi at the end of the fight and again when the final scores were announced.

That the fight was a split decision helped provided extended drama, if not a false sense of hope for Jaro. Feelings of dejection was evident in the Filipino’s corner once the final card was read in favor of Igarashi, bowing their heads in disappointment as the crowd erupted. 

Igarashi fought back tears as he addressed the crowd while in the ring with his family. The 28-year old  improves to 16-1-1 (11KO) with the win, his ninth straight. The title opportunity was earned when Igarashi scored a decision win over Wilfredo Uicab last November, though was forced to endure the longest layoff of his career in awaiting the title shot.

The short-lived reign for Jaro snaps a five-fight win streak as he falls to 34-11-5 (24KO). 

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor for Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by MARKBNLV on 07-16-2012

[QUOTE=any craic lad?;12342399]How did Uchiyama look in the early goings?[/QUOTE] He looked ok the fight was just starting to heat up at the time of the headbutt it was a nasty cut under the brow so the stoppage was ok…

Comment by MARKBNLV on 07-16-2012

[QUOTE=SoggyLungs;12342528]yah should have been held in the philippines..still need to see the fight. was it a controversial win by igarashi?[/QUOTE] I thought so Igarashi landed more but a lot of it was pitter patter,when Jaro landed it was with force.

Comment by nycsmooth on 07-16-2012

[QUOTE=MARKBNLV;12342312]Why would Jaro defend his title in Japan that fight should have been in the Phillipines.[/QUOTE] No country in the world='s what Japan pays 2 broing in foreign fighters...ask Montiel a few yrs ago when he made $3/4 Mil...

Comment by nycsmooth on 07-16-2012

Igarashi's win no surprise as many had him favored even w/Jaro's upset title win, the biggest considering all weights & the champ in the past 3/4 years...

Comment by any craic lad? on 07-16-2012

[QUOTE=MARKBNLV;12342309]Ya it pissed me off but at least i got to see it,and how did Igrashi win the guy through pitter patter bs Jaro was hurting him over and over[/QUOTE] How did Uchiyama look in the early goings?

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