TOKYO — Takashi Uchiyama’s status as the premier fighter in at super featherweight was extinguished in two rounds at the hands of unheralded Jezreel Corrales, who used speed and switch-hitting counter shots to score the 2016’s biggest boxing upset to date.
From the first punch, Uchiyama looked ill-equipped to handle Corrales’ speed. The 24 year-old Panamanian challenger stung Uchiyama with southpaw lefts in the opening minute, eliciting concerned murmurs from the champion’s countrymen. Corrales disrupted Uchiyama’s offense by periodically switching between southpaw and orthodox — in the last minute, he succeeded in wobbling Uchiyama with an overhand right.
Round two was a complete whitewash. Uchiyama first hit the canvas from a counter left hook. It took Uchiyama two tries to get upright, and a succession of Corrales hooks created a second knockdown moments later. Uchiyama nearly escaped the round, but got caught backing up by a right hook that forced the stoppage.
The shocking upset comes as the 36-year-old Uchiyama was rumored to be in negotiations to make his U.S. debut against Javier Fortuna. The loss is Uchiyama’s first defeat and ends his six year WBA title reign at 11 defenses.