Junior lightweight world titleholder Jezreel Corrales showed on Saturday that his second-round knockout of Takashi Uchiyama to win the belt in April was no fluke.
Corrales retained the 130-pound title in his first defense, winning a split decision against Uchiyama in their rematch at the Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo.
The bout was one of five world title fights on New Year's Eve in Japan, where the holiday is a traditional date for significant boxing matches. There were two other world titles fights in Japan on Friday.
Corrales (21-1, 8 KOs), a 25-year-old southpaw from Panama, may have knocked out Uchiyama, 37, in shocking fashion the first time around -- but he had much tougher time in the sequel. Corrales won 117-110 and 115-112 on two judges' scorecards, and the third judge scored the bout 114-113 for Uchiyama (24-2-1, 20 KOs), who scored a knockdown with a left hook late in the fifth round that did not appear to do any real damage.
Also on the Tokyo card, junior flyweight titleholder Ryoichi Taguchi (25-2-2, 11 KOs), of Japan, retained his world title for the fifth time when he and Carlos Canizales (16-0-1, 13 KOs) fought to a split draw.
One judge scored the fight 116-112 for Taguchi, one had the same score for Canizales and the third judge had it 114-114.
Canizales, fighting outside of Venezuela for the first time, spent much of the fight moving and trying to avoid contact with the more aggressive Taguchi.
Ioka retains flyweight title
At the Shimazu Arena in Kyoto, Japan's Kazuto Ioka (21-1, 13 KOs), who has won world titles in three weight divisions, retained his flyweight world title for the fourth time. He knocked out interim titleholder and mandatory challenger Stamp Kiatniwat (15-1, 6 KOs), of Thailand, in the seventh round.
Kiatniwat, 18, dropped Ioka, 27, with a right hand in the second round and swelled his right eye, but Ioka was in control for the remainder of the fight. He battered Kiatniwat in the sixth round and knocked him down twice in the seventh before referee Rafael Ramos waved it off -- at 2 minutes, 51 seconds -- following the second knockdown.
Also in Kyoto, Japan's Yukinori Oguni (19-1-1, 7 KOs) won a unanimous decision in a major upset of Jonathan Guzman (22-1, 22 KOs), of the Dominican Republic, to win a junior featherweight world title.
All three judges scored the bout 115-112 for Oguni, who knocked down Guzman with a left hand to the stomach midway through the third round.
Guzman was making the first defense of the vacant 122-pound crown he won on July 20 in Osaka, Japan, where he knocked out Shingo Wake in the 11th round.
Tanaka wins vacant junior flyweight belt
Japan's Kosei Tanaka (8-0, 5 KOs) knocked out fellow former strawweight world titleholder Moises Fuentes (24-3-1, 13 KOs), of Mexico, in the fifth round to win a vacant junior flyweight title on a card at Gifu Memorial Hall.
Tanaka dominated Fuentes from start to finish, finally dropping him under a hail of punches in the fifth round, prompting referee Raul Caiz Jr. to wave off the fight at 1 minute, 52 seconds. Tanaka was ahead 40-36 on all three scorecards at the time of the knockout. They were fighting for the 108-pound title recently vacated by the Philippines' Donnie Nietes, who decided to move up in weight.
By winning a second world title in as many divisions in just his eighth professional fight, Tanaka matched the Japanese record for fewest fights needed to win belts in two weight classes. He tied the record held by junior bantamweight titlist Naoya Inoue, who retained his belt on Friday.
The overall boxing record is seven fights, which belongs to reigning junior lightweight and former featherweight world titleholder Vasyl Lomachenko.