One of last year’s bigger upsets was avenged in emphatic fashion this morning when Kenshiro Teraji knocked out Masamichi Yabuki in under three rounds to reclaim the WBC light flyweight title.
Their first meeting saw Yabuki (13-4, 12 KO) rack up an early lead, lose ground in the middle rounds as Teraji (19-1, 11 KO) found his footing, then roar back to polish off “The Amazing Boy” in the 10th. Teraji immediately took the initiative this time around, bossing Yabuki around the ring behind a stiff jab as the champ looked for heavy counters. Early in the third, Teraji punished Yabuki for backing away with his hands down by plunking him with a vicious right cross that put him on the canvas.
Yabuki made it to his feet with visible effort, but the ref waved things off.
You can catch the whole fight here while it lasts.
Unless there was another rematch clause in play, Teraji now has options. A unification with WBA champ Hiroto Kyoguchi doesn’t seem to be on the table, as Kyoguchi is presently injured and will have to fight the winner of Esteban Bermudez vs. Carlos Canizales 2 upon his return to the ring, but fellow titlists Felix Alvarado and Jonathan “Bomba” Gonzalez appear to be available.
As far as Yabuki, he’s still just 29, and I’d love to see him stay in the mix at 108. He’d said he was considering retirement before the first fight with Teraji, though, so it’s anyone’s guess where he goes from here.