September 30, 2016
September 30, 2016
takashi uchiyama

Action Images/Reuters/Issei Kato

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In his first fight outside of his home country of Panama, Jezreel Corrales shocked the long-reigning, undefeated WBA Super World super featherweight champion, Takashi Uchiyama, knocking him clean out in the second round in front of his hometown fans.

Corrales is currently weighing out his options for his first title defense, which he expects to take place before year’s end.

He was linked to a November bout with Vasyl Lomachenko at one point, but talks with Top Rank cooled and the Ukrainian elected to box Nicholas Walters instead on November 26.

Corrales’ promoter, Rogelio Espiño, is now hard at work trying to secure a match for his fighter.

“We were evaluating other options due to the delay in our negotiations with Lomachenko,” said Espiño. “One of them was against Uchiyama for the rematch, which is a fight that is now being nailed down for the 31st of December.”

The previously-untested Corrales was a major underdog leading up to the fight against Uchiyama. At the time, the Japanese champion was considered, by many, the best super featherweight in the world. He was making his 12th defense of the title he took from Juan Carlos Salgado in 2010 and had shown no signs of slowing down in prior appearances.

With commanding wins against Jorge Solis and Takashi Miura on Uchiyama’s resume, the last thing anyone at the Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo expected that night was their champion on his back at the hands of fighter that was virtually unknown outside of his native Central America. Fortunes change quickly in this sport.

If the rematch is finalized, Corrales will have an opportunity to prove to the world that his victory was no fluke and that he belongs alongside the best at 130 pounds.