Kenshiro Teraji started slow, relatively speaking, but turned up the heat in round three today against challenger Randy Petalcorin, and stopped the visiting fighter in the fourth round of their WBC junior flyweight title bout in Yokohama.
Teraji (17-0, 10 KO) closed out another strong year with another win, but Petalcorin (31-4-1, 23 KO) deserves some credit here. The 27-year-old Filipino southpaw came in on four weeks’ notice, replacing original opponent Felix Alvarado in what was originally meant to be a WBC/IBF unification bout at 108 pounds.
Petalcorin won the first two rounds, jabbing effectively as Teraji, 27, looked to find the range and rhythm of the contest. And, well, then the defending titleholder did just that, and in round three he zeroed in on the body of Petalcorin, who went down three times from shots to the midsection in that round, but managed to get up and get through it each time, resulting in the incredibly rare 10-6 card to write down on your card.
But that’s about as far as he could go, too. Petalcorin did come out fighting when the bell sounded for the next round, but Teraji again attacked the breadbasket, dropping Petalcorin for a fourth time and finishing things at 1:08 of round four.
The true dream fight for Teraji, of course, would be a unification with Hiroto Kyoguchi, the 26-year-old WBA titleholder in the division, but revisiting the previously scheduled fight with Nicaragua’s Alvarado would also surely work for everyone, and there’s always WBA secondary titleholder Carlos Canizales of Venezuela and WBO titleholder Elwin Soto of Mexico, too. It’s a fun division right now with some really good fighters.
Roman Gonzalez TKO-2 Diomel Diocos
Gonzalez (48-2, 40 KO) returned from 15 months of inactivity and looked pretty sharp here. At 32 he’s definitely past his true peak days, but he still looks like a dangerous contender at 115; there’d be no reason to consider him any worse than 50/50 against titleholders Jerwin Ancajas and Kal Yafai, I don’t think. It’s not that Diocos (14-6-3, 4 KO) is much to go by as an opponent, just the body language, the speed, the power of Gonzalez still looks to be largely there. Again, not peak anymore, but a legitimate contender.