Kyoto, Japan produced a massive upset this morning when mandatory challenger Masamichi Yabuki upended world #1 light flyweight Kenshiro Teraji in the latter’s ninth title defense, handing “The Amazing Boy” his first-ever defeat via 10th-round TKO.
Yabuki (13-3, 12 KO), who entered as the reigning Japanese champion at 108 pounds, overwhelmed Teraji (18-1, 10 KO) in what was reportedly a terrific fight. Yabuki used his reach and power to build a lead on all three scorecards, only for Teraji to roar back with a gutsy effort in the ninth. Yabuki showed some championship grit of his own by turning the tide in the climactic round and forcing a standing TKO with a vicious flurry on the ropes.
絶対王者に勝って— 矢吹正道 (@Yabukimasamiti) September 22, 2021
According to Kyodo News, the 29-year-old Yabuki had planned to retire regardless of the outcome, but has understandably reconsidering after tasting victory. As for Teraji, this is yet another setback in a year full of them, but he’s still a top-notch boxer and is ostensibly young enough to embark on the comeback trail.
Massive props to the new champion; let’s hope he gets to share the ring with IBF champ Felix Alvarado, because that’s easily a Fight of the Year candidate.