Despite being 33 years old, Takashi Uchiyama's power hasn't gone anywhere.
That's why it's critical that challenger Jaider Parra—the brother of former flyweight titlist Lorenzo Parra—tightens up his defense against the Japanese champion on Monday in Tokyo.
Parra (20-0-1, 10 KOs) has yet to lose in 21 career fights, but he has faced mediocre competition at best. He will be moving up a couple of levels when he faces the brutalizing Uchiyama (19-0-1, 16 KOs).
Uchiyama—the WBA junior lightweight titlist—has defended his title six times already. He's stopped his opponent five of those six times (he had to settle for a draw with Michael Farenas last July because of Farenas' accidental headbutt).
Warning: Video NSFW (language).
While Parra hasn't faced spectacular competition, Uchiyama has stopped WBC champion Takashi Miura, former WBA "interim" champion Jorge Solis and Bryan Vasquez since January 2011 (Vazquez was undefeated before his fight with Uchiyama last December). Dan Rafael of ESPN ranks Uchiyama the No. 1 junior lightweight in the world.
One thing that can be said about Parra is that he does have nice footwork, which could allow him to maneuver around Uchiyama's attacks early on in the fight.
But the 30-year-old also has been known to have a leaky defense, dropping his gloves at times. Parra can't afford to do that against Uchiyama or he'll likely be on the wrong end of a knockout. Uchiyama is not the guy you want to be lackadaisical against.
By all accounts, this figures to be a brutal wake-up call for Parra, who also doesn't have the power to stop Uchiyama cold. The only chance the Venezuelan challenger has is if he locks down on defense and constantly chips away at the Japanese powerhouse down the stretch. Seeing that Parra doesn't have much experience against top competition, that's unlikely to happen.