Kenshiro Teraji stopped Hekkie Budler in the ninth round in Tokyo to retain his WBC and WBA 108 lb titles in the main event from Ariake Arena.
Teraji mostly controlled the fight, though Budler’s effort should be hugely respected, as the veteran ex-titlist came to fight, and the fact that he truly was there to fight and give this his best effort is what got him stopped.
Teraji (22-1, 14 KO) won seven of the first eight rounds on our scorecard, then finished Budler (35-5, 11 KO) off with a high-intensity attack in the ninth, pinning Budler on the ropes and unloading until referee Lupe Garcia rightly stopped the bout.
“I kind of sensed that I couldn’t finish (Budler). But after round eight, my cornerman said, ‘You have to go out and finish him,’ and I did it, so I’m so happy,” Teraji said.
“I could have finished the fight earlier, but anyway, it’s nice, because I knocked him out. ... I was too eager (in the first half) to finish him. This was a learning experience for me. I can grow for the future.”
Teraji said he hopes his next fight is further unification, which would mean either WBO titleholder Jonathan Gonzalez or IBF titlist Sivenathi Nontshinga. Nontshinga is set to face Adrian Curiel on Nov. 4, while Gonzalez was meant to face Teraji in April of this year, but withdrew late due to an injury. Gonzalez seems the more likely bet for that reason, and because he’s fairly well-known in Japan.
At the moment, Gonzalez is at least tentatively scheduled for a non-title return in late October in Nicaragua, which could set him up to face Teraji early next year.
Tenshin Nasukawa UD-8 Luis Guzman (80-70, 80-70, 80-70)
Tenshin is a major combat sports star in Japan, a kickboxing champion, this was his second pro boxing fight, he is now 2-0 (0 KO).
So now that we’ve established we understand his star power, let’s talk reality about the boxing: He scored some knockdowns but never got all that close to finishing. He has some skills and he’s super popular, but at 25, it’s going to be a very big ask for him to be a serious top-level boxer. It’s a big ask for anyone, of course.
But yes, he is a very big star, and he will get opportunities because of that. And he’s a great fighter with some clear offensive boxing skills, don’t get me wrong here. But it’s a tough row to hoe.
Junto Nakatani UD-12 Argi Cortes (118-107, 119-106, 119-106)
Nakatani largely dominated here, as the scores would indicate, and the scores were fair. We also had it 119-106 for Junto, who retains his WBO 115 lb title with the clear win.
Nakatani (26-0, 19 KO) scored two knockdowns on body shots in the fifth round, and another in the ninth, but Cortes (25-4-2, 10 KO) was tough and also did land a prety damn good shot in Nakatani in the sixth round that gave Junto some pause.
“I knocked my opponent out in the final round of my last fight, so I really wanted to finish him in the 12th round, but I couldn’t because Cortes was so resilient,” Nakatani said after the fight.
Junto SNAPPED his head back pic.twitter.com/5gTuduPtJX— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) September 18, 2023
Anthony Olascuaga TKO-7 Giemel Magramo (2:55)
Kind of a stunner here, not in the result but how it happened. Olascuaga had some arguments in a few rounds, but you could also have had Magramo up 60-54 when this fight ended suddenly, right before the end of the seventh round, when Olascuaga hurt Magramo against the ropes and the referee stepped in.
Magramo (28-4, 23 KO) was doing a lot more consistent work, winning most of the exchanges the two had, and seemed mostly in control of the fight. Olascuaga (6-1, 3 KO) was doing good work, but more in spots, and it was hard to find any rounds he won for sure.
Then he landed a clean right hand on the jaw, Magramo staggered against the ropes, and the referee got in there at 2:55 of round seven. You might wonder why he wasn’t given a count, because he didn’t go down, but the referee was up close and saw whatever he saw.
Olascuaga gets a good win and probably another invite to Japan. He’s trained by Rudy Hernandez, who also trains Junto Nakatani, and this is now two straight fights in Tokyo for him, and he’s clearly made a strong impression with the way he fights, got a nice ovation before and after the fight. That’s good for him, because being an American flyweight, it’s not easy to get fights at home.