1977-05-29 Rafael Ortega w pts 15 Flipper Uehara, Onoyama Gym, Okinawa, Japan - WBA
1977-05-29 Rafael Ortega w pts 15 Flipper Uehara, Onoyama Gym, Okinawa, Japan - WBA. Referee: Jesus Gonzalez. Scorecards: 71-65, 73-63, 73-68. Making a quick start with flashing left hands finding their mark early, Ortega (125½) put the challenger down with a left uppercut just before the bell ended round one. Then, having toyed with Uehara (125) over the next three sessions Ortega repeated the dose at the end of the fourth following combinations of punches, the bell again coming to the aid of the former. Uehara came out firing in the middle rounds, being able to push Ortega back with good rights and lefts to the body in the sixth, tenth and 13th, but the champion was soon back in control with effective counters paving the way for an emphatic win.
Somewhat surprisingly, Ortega’s next defence would be against Cecilio Lastra, a southpaw, who had recently been stopped in 13 rounds and shorn of his Spanish title by Roberto Castanon. On paper it seemed to be a mismatch. Earlier Lastra had beaten Rodolfo Sanchez, another good Spaniard, but there were very few names on his record to suggest that he had qualified for a world title shot.