The WBA has ordered their super featherweight “super” champion Takashi Uchiyama to defend his title in a unification match with the WBA “regular” champion Javier Fortuna. Both sides will have 30 days to get a deal done. If no deal is made in the allotted time then a purse bid will take place where promoters for both fighters will enter a private bid, with the highest bidder winning promotional rights.
Takashi Uchiyama had been keen on making his US debut this spring with a big name opponent. Nicholas Walters had been such a name that Bob Arum suggested could fill that void. With rumors running rampant on whether the fight would be made, Uchiyama and his team were not shy in calling out Walters. Uchiyama’s advisor even told Walters “Don’t run. Don’t hide.” Walters didn’t respond, though his manager said he preferred Walters return to the featherweight division. Was that a Walters duck?
With names like Francisco Vargas, Orlando Salido, Roman Martinez, and Takashi Miura in the super featherweight division, Javier Fortuna isn’t the big name Uchiyama was hoping for. He may still yet get his wish to make his US debut and potentially due so on American cable TV as Al Haymon advises Fortuna and of course operates the PBC shows. Fortuna for his part is no slouch, with an undefeated 28-0 record and 20 knockouts.
This could wind up being a pretty good scrap, especially for PBC should the fight land there. Haymon’s experimental approach to reintroducing boxing to the public with PBC fights on free network TV as opposed to HBO and Showtime, has struggled with putting together strong cards. A unification at super featherweight with one of the boxers even nicknamed “KO Dynamite” will be great action for the boxing public, be it on American soil or Japanese.