Kenshiro Teraji successfully defended his WBA Super and WBC World Light Flyweight Championships in Monday’s main event, scoring a ninth-round stoppage against former minimumweight champion Hekkie Budler.
The referee stepped in and ended the fight in a TKO ruling after Teraji backed Budler up against the ropes with a steady pace of punches. This outcome came after a fast-paced and competitive battle between the two in the eight previous rounds.
Teraji stops Budler in the ninth, defends WBC and WBA belts
Budler kept up with Teraji in the prior rounds, trading slick combinations throughout the fight. Budler would connect with slick combinations and potentially stole a few rounds, although it was clear that Teraji was consistently landing the harder and more impactful shots.
Teraji has now defended his WBC belt three times, and WBA title twice. He regained his WBC title in 2022, avenging his sole pro loss against Masamichi Yabuki. He has scored four consecutive finish wins recently, including victories over Hiroto Kyoguchi and Anthony Olascuaga.
After the fight, Teraji mentioned his intention to claim a third belt at light flyweight. The current WBO World Light Flyweight Champion is Jonathan Gonzalez, and undefeated 12-fight talent Sivenathi Nontshinga holds the IBF World Light Flyweight Championship currently.
Monday was the third time that Budler challenged for a light flyweight championship since moving up from the minimumweight class, where he held IBO and WBA world titles. His first title bid was in 2017 when he lost a split decision to Milan Melindo. A year later, he was stopped in the 10th round by Hiroto Kyoguchi in a title fight.
Nakatani remains undefeated with one-sided win
Junto Nakatani defended his WBO World Super Flyweight Championship for the first time on Monday night, dropping challenger Argi Cortes three times before walking away with a unanimous decision victory.
A patient Nakatani showcased a wide range of skills in his win over Cortes. Early on, it was his lead right jab and powerful left cross that would score on the head of Cortes. Later, he started targeting the body of Cortes, which threatened a finish to the fight at times.
Cortes went down twice in the fifth round due to shots to his body. He was potentially saved by the bell, as the round only had roughly 15 seconds left following the second knockdown. He was ruled knocked down once again in the ninth round after getting hit in the body.
Nakatani earned the WBO World Super Flyweight title in May, overcoming Andrew Moloney with a dominant, 12th-round stoppage victory. The 25-year-old’s record is now a perfect 26 wins.
Saturday was the first time that Cortes had competed outside of Mexico, and his first challenge for a major title in boxing. He suffered a loss last year, dropping a unanimous decision to vet Juan Francisco Estrada.
Olascuaga, Nasukawa win showcase bouts
Tenshin Nasukawa, a former world-class kickboxer, will make his second-ever pro boxing appearance when he faces Luis Guzman Torres in an eight-round bout.
Nasukawa won his debut in April, boxing six rounds against Yuki Yonaha and winning on points. He’s now meeting Guzman Torres, who enters with a record of 10 wins and two losses.
Anthony Olascuaga bounced back from his sole pro loss on Monday’s undercard, putting away Filipino vet Giemel Magramo late in the seventh round of their fight. Olascuaga hurt Magramo with a right hand up against the ropes, then landed another two clean shots before the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. Olascuaga and Magramo engaged in a fast-paced fight from start to finish, with Magramo often being the advancing fighter and arguably taking some of the rounds of the fight as well.
Olascuaga, a fighter with just six bouts, was coming back from his sole loss as a pro. That defeat came in April when he took a short-notice title fight against Kenshiro Teraji. Monday’s outing marked the fourth loss of Magramo’s pro career.
Kenshiro Teraji vs. Hekkie Budler round-by-round updates
Round 1: A close opening round between these two. Budler was the more aggressive and advancing fighter, but Teraji was able to respond with some of his own shots as well. The commentary pointed out that Teraji is a slow starter. This could go either way, but off activity, I might have to go 10-9 Budler.
Round 2: Budler backed Teraji up with combinations early in this round. Teraji was connecting with strong, singular punches. Budler’s head got snapped back halfway through this round with a hard right cross. The pace of this fight has increased significantly, just one round after the opener. Both are landing, this is a close fight thus far. Felt like Teraji had less volume but landed the harder shots, I’ll tie it up at 19-19.
Round 3: What was described by the commentary as “see-saw action” continued in this round. The boxers took turns throwing their combinations. While Budler got through with combinations, it felt like another round where Teraji landed the harder blows. 29-28 Teraji.
Round 4: Teraji caught Budler with a really clean right hand in the opening minute of this round. A minute later, a combination from Budler included a right that landed quite well. I’m giving this round to Teraji off his output and the impact of his shots, but there’s no doubt that Budler is still in this fight. My scorecard is widening, but this is a close fight. 39-37 Teraji.
Round 5: These two clashed heads early on in this round, opening a cut on Teraji’s head. The fight paused briefly so the cut could get cleaned up a little, but it continued to bleed immediately after. Have to wonder if that will factor into the fight going forward. Teraji landed a right to the body of Budler that seemed to bother him halfway through this round. That was just one of the many body shots that Teraji scored with in this round – he’s clearly focusing on that section much more now. Budler marched forward in the final minute but ate a hard right from Teraji at one point. The back-and-forth action here is really impressive from both. 49-46 Teraji.
Round 6: This was another round where Budler was the advancing and leading fighter, but it seemed like Teraji was landing the harder and stronger punches. Budler moving forward is a nice visual, but the work from Teraji completely nullifies it. A right cross from Teraji in the third minute of this round stumbled Budler, it seems. By the way, that cut from round five is not an issue right now. 59-55 Teraji.
Round 7: The pace dropped off significantly in this round. Budler gained some momentum early in the frame by getting some shots through. It seemed like in this round he out-landed Budler, who was circling the perimeter of the ring and getting some sneaky angles on the champ. I’ll give him this round. 68-65 Teraji.
Round 8: Even with the pace slowing down over these past couple of rounds, it remains a very competitive bout. Teraji looked better in this round, letting go over more punches that scored well. However, Budler was still finding a home for his shots, really getting comfortable with fighting off his back foot and staying on the outside of the ring. 78-74 Teraji.
Round 9: In the ninth round, it was going much better for Teraji than the past couple of rounds. Budler got backed up against the ropes with a minute to go in the round and clearly got rocked by the shots from Teraji. He was hurt much worse than what was seen in any of the previous rounds. Budler was no longer throwing and instead just looking to defend himself while up against the ropes. Teraji kept landing with lefts and rights, with his right hand specifically being impactful. The referee saw this onslaught as the right time to step in and end the bout, giving Teraji his fourth consecutive victory.
RESULT: Kenshiro Teraji def. Hekkie Budler via TKO at 2:19 in Round 9
Junto Nakatani vs. Argi Cortes round-by-round updates
Round 1: Nakatani had the best of a slow opening round between the super flyweights. Nakatani backed Cortes up with his jab throughout the three minutes of action. He scored with the best punch of the fight, a right hand from a two-punch combination, in the opening minute. He’s likely up a round, 10-9 Nakatani.
Round 2: The jab of Nakatani is continuing to connect. Cortes was able to charge forward a couple of times in this round and pressured Nakatani with some advancing, but he did not land too many notable shots. Those little jabs at Nakatani are just chopping away at Cortes, and I think this is another round for him. 20-18 Nakatani.
Round 3: The ESPN feed pointed out that Nakatani has been headhunting thus far. Nakatani scored a left cross in the final minute of this round that scored clean and gave Cortes some pause. That same shot scored again roughly 40 seconds later. Cortes is clearly gaining confidence and starting to let more combinations go, but this is quite clearly still Nakatani’s fight. 30-27 Nakatani.
Round 4: The home that Nakatani found with his left cross is still there a round later. He scored with the punch two consecutive times in the opening minute of this frame. Cortes is advancing with shots, but the left hands that Nakatani is coming in with – sometimes led by a right-hand jab – are controlling this round. It’s worth mentioning that Nakatani is managing his distance really well, punishing the reach disadvantage that Cortes has to deal with in this fight. 40-36 Nakatani.
Round 5: Cortes doesn’t look too damaged right now, but that will change if he keeps taking these left hands to the head. After hardly targeting the body, Nakatani scored with a left hook to the gut that dropped Cortes. Cortes was really slow to get up and was bought some time by the referee, who allowed him to go to his corner to put his mouthpiece back in. Nakatani swarmed Cortes right as the fight resumed, scoring a flurry of shots including another blow to the body of Cortes, dropping him again. With just a few seconds left in the round, Cortes was saved by the bell. But it’s looking very bad for him, I’m saying it likely ends in this next round. 50-43 Nakatani.
Round 6: Cortes fell really hard in the opening minute of this round, but it was ruled as a trip. Nakatani is showing patience in this round, not rushing to finish Cortes. However, he’s doing something important, and that’s keep going to the body, where he earned his first two knockdowns. Cortes scored his best shot of the fight with a minute to go in this round, connecting with a right hand that seemingly bothered Nakatani. The output of Nakatani was pretty reduced in the final minute of this round and Cortes was able to keep throwing. That was a really good right hand from Cortes, and I can’t believe he’s still in the fight right now quite honestly. I’m giving a round to Cortes, making the score still a wide 59-53 Nakatani.
Round 7: Broadcast noted that Nakatani’s jab output slowed. However, he’s still sneaking through with these solid left crosses. One of them snapped the head of Cortes back in this round. I’m still of the belief that a clean shot to the body could get Cortes to the canvas again, but Nakatani has stopped targeting that section of his opponent once again. A good round from Nakatani. 69-62 Nakatani.
Round 8: Nakatani is back to targeting the body. A left cross landed to the gut. A right hook just a few moments later. Even in a round where Nakatani doesn’t have this unreal output, his ability to manage the distance against Cortes means that the difference in the volume of shots between them is still large. A tough Cortes is still in there, but he’s certainly not winning. 79-71 Nakatani.
Round 9: A series of body shots dropped Cortes once again in this round. He went down with a minute left in the fight. Cortes seemed a little skeptical about ruling that one a knockdown, but he did go down after a pair of clean shots to the body. Upon replay, it did look a little questionable, maybe. Nakatani was patient after the knockdown – finish or not, he’s cruising to a victory here. 89-79 Nakatani.
Round 10: Nakatani went back to targeting the head here, getting some clean strikes in. This was actually one of the closer rounds, considering both of their outputs were low and Cortes was able to land some clean stuff. 99-88 Nakatani.
Round 11: Cortes is beginning to connect with a few punches to the body of Nakatani. He also swung and scored with a clean left hook to the head of Nakatani in the final minute of this round. Nakatani is still hitting Cortes with some good blows. Someone let out a really loud burp in the final minute of this round. 109-97 Nakatani.
Round 12: Nakatani swarmed a shelled-up Cortes in the final minute of this round. Nakatani suddenly upped the pressure in the final minute of this round, looking for a finish presumably. Nakatani finished this fight with a dominant final round – one that wasn’t enough to put away the tough Cortes, but enough to have him no worry about losing this. Stellar performance for the champ, I’m going 119-106 Nakatani. Awaiting official result…
RESULT: Junto Nakatani def. Argi Cortes via unanimous decision (118-107, 119-106 & 119-106)
Kenshiro Teraji vs. Hekkie Budler live results and highlights
- Kenshiro Teraji def. Hekkie Budler via TKO at 2:19 in Round 9: WBA Super World and WBC World Light Flyweight Championship
- Tenshin Nasukawa def Luis Guzman Torres via unanimous decision (80-70, 80-70 & 80-70): Super Bantamweight
- Junto Nakatani def. Argi Cortes via unanimous decision (118-107, 119-106 & 119-106): WBO World Super Flyweight Championship
- Anthony Olascuaga def. Giemel Magramo via TKO at 2:57 in Round 7: Light Flyweight
- Takumu Tamagawa def. Hayato Yokoyama via split decision (39-37 Tamagawa, 39-37 Yokoyama & 39-37 Tamagawa): Super Bantamweight
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