Kenshiro Teraji stopped Hiroto Kyoguchi in the seventh round to unify the WBC and WBA junior flyweight titles in their main event from Saitama, Japan.
Teraji (20-1, 12 KO) dominated a good bit of the fight, starting strong through four rounds and then dropping Kyoguchi (16-1, 12 KO) in the fifth. But in that same round, with Teraji trying to pour on the pressure for a finish, Kyoguchi staged a late rally that saw him hurt Teraji in return, and there was the sense going into round six that Kyoguchi may have stolen the momentum.
Instead, Teraji came out for round six using his jab, boxing smart, and Kyoguchi’s designs on counter-punching his way to victory just weren’t working. Teraji out-worked Kyoguchi for almost the entire fight, and then picked up the pace again in round seven.
Kyoguchi looked a little hurt in that round before being dropped again late in the frame, and when he was, the referee raced in for the stoppage call, giving Teraji a TKO victory at 2:36 of round seven.
It was a fight years in the making, and Teraji simply showed himself to be a level above Kyoguchi on this day. He executed his plan well, got himself in some trouble once, and settled it down from there. Kyoguchi had his chance, and Teraji didn’t let him capitalize. We now have a pretty clear No. 1 man in the world at 108 lbs.
Teraji vs Kyoguchi highlights
Jonathan Gonzalez UD-12 Shokichi Iwata
A fight where professional experience really paid off, I think, with Gonzalez retaining his WBO junior flyweight title over Iwata, a standout amateur taking his first crack at a world title.
Many rounds were competitive, but Gonzalez (27-3-1, 14 KO) deserved this win. I had this even after four rounds, but I didn’t think Iwata (9-1, 6 KO) really convincingly won any round, and even in his best rounds, Gonzalez was in it, for the most part, and landing good shots. Iwata had his best rounds when Gonzalez became a bit more stationary, but that also meant Gonzalez was on the front foot more in those rounds, so he never let it become a consistent idea that Iwata was the aggressor for the entire fight.
In the second half especially, “Bomba” made adjustments, boxed well, and frustrated Iwata pretty badly. The judges had this 116-112, 116-112, and 117-111 for the Puerto Rican fighter, and BLH had it 116-112 for Gonzalez, too.
Iwata should be able to adjust and learn from this; he’s 26, he’s got skills, he can punch, but Gonzalez is a skilled, smart fighter. When Gonzalez didn’t let Iwata cut the ring off, he was a pain. When Gonzalez got on the front foot, he was a different sort of pain. Iwata is good, but his approach was the same pretty much the entire fight. Gonzalez had more to his game.
Junto Nakatani UD-10 Francisco Rodriguez Jr
Not an easy night for Nakatani, though I think he clearly deserved the cards, and that the judges all scored it about right.
Official scores were 97-92, 98-91, and 99-90 for Nakatani, who was moving up to 115 lbs after vacating his flyweight title, and he took on a tough, rugged pro in that move up, and he got a good learning experience out of it. We had the fight 98-91 for Nakatani.
Rodriguez (36-6-1, 25 KO) was docked a point in round seven after about the 217th warning for holding and other various roughhouse tactics, and Nakatani (24-0, 18 KO) pretty clearly did the cleaner, better actual boxing work in just about every round. I gave Rodriguez the second and eighth, but I was closer to giving Nakatani every round than giving Rodriguez any other round.
Rodriguez was tough, though, and he fought the fight he felt gave him the best chance to win. Nakatani is younger, slicker, taller, a better puncher, a better boxer, and Rodriguez tried to rough it up, take him out of his wheelhouse, and find the openings where he could. He did land some good punches, but Nakatani landed more good punches, often in direct response to what Rodriguez had just done.
Shuichiro Yoshino TKO-6 Masayoshi Nakatani
The good action fight expected, with Yoshino (16-0, 12 KO) just overpowering Nakatani (20-3, 14 KO) in the end. Nakatani was able to use his jab pretty effectively to control range through much of the first four rounds, but there were times Yoshino would get through with shots, and Nakatani also was cut under the left eye due to a clash of heads.
The fight turned fast when it did, though, and it started with Yoshino unloading with both hands when he pressed Nakatani to the ropes in round five. Right before the end of the round, he caught Nakatani with a right hand to the temple that forced Nakatani to take a knee, and the pace was also starting to wear on Nakatani at that point.
Trying to take back the control of the fight, Masayoshi came out charging with offense in round six, but Yoshino just absorbed what he could and looked to land back in return. He did, and Nakatani went down again, with the fight stopped there. Nakatani was looking pretty spent and beaten, and Yoshino stays unbeaten and moves toward a bigger fight in the lightweight division. He has a regional WBO belt, and with it comes a good WBO ranking. If Devin Haney winds up vacating next year, he could get himself in the title mix. He’s an exciting fighter, comes forward, willing to trade, tough and rugged.