Unified light flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji (21-1, 13 KOs) defends his belts against two division titlist Hekkie Budler (35-4, 11 KOs) on September 18. The bout will headline an event at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan, and be available to American viewers on ESPN+. Teraji’s WBC and WBA belts are at stake. Junto Nakatani (25-0, 19 KOs) also defends his WBO super flyweight title against Argi Cortes (25-3-2, 10 KOs) just before the main event.
Teraji-Budler press release
Here are more details from Top Rank’s press release of the event:
Teraji earned his first world title by defeating Ganigan Lopez for the WBC 108-pound strap in May 2017. He made eight defenses before losing the belt via 10th-round TKO against Masamichi Yabuki in September 2021. The 31-year-old avenged his lone defeat by stopping Yabuki in the third round of their March 2022 rematch to regain the title. Teraji then stopped Hiroto Kyoguchi last November in the seventh round to unify the WBC and WBA titles. He defended his unified championship with a ninth-round TKO against then-unbeaten contender Anthony Olascuaga in April.
Budler (35-4, 11 KOs) captured the WBA minimumweight world title with a first-round knockout win against Karluis Diaz in March 2014. He made four defenses before losing the belt to Byron Rojas in March 2016. Two years later, he decisioned Ryoichi Taguchi to capture the WBA and IBF light flyweight titles. He vacated his IBF strap and lost the WBA title in his first defense, a 10th-round TKO loss to Hiroto Kyoguchi in December 2018. The 35-year-old veteran is 3-0 since losing his title, including a decision win over former WBO champ Elwin Soto.
Nakatani (25-0, 19 KOs) won the vacant WBO flyweight world title in November 2020 with an eighth-round knockout against Giemel Magramo. He defended it twice, defeating Angel Acosta in four rounds and knocking out Ryota Yamauchi in eight. Nakatani then moved up to junior bantamweight and captured the WBO crown with a highlight-reel knockout against former Andrew Moloney in May. Cortes (25-3-2, 10 KOs) is a nine-year pro who nearly upset Juan Francisco Estrada in a fiercely-contested September 2022 showdown. He is coming off a 10-round majority decision win over Adolfo Castillo Gonzalez in March.
Tenshin Nasukawa to also appear on card
Kickboxing fans will be familiar with the name Tenshin Nasukawa (1-0, 0 KOs) who also returns to the boxing ring on this event. As a kickboxer, Nasukawa was undefeated in 44 fights, winning 30 by knockout. He takes on Juan Flores Aceves (9-0, 7 KOs) in an eight-round super bantamweight clash (at the moment, BoxRec lists Luis Guzman Torres as the opponent but Top Rank’s press release says Aceves). Nasukawa made his pro boxing debut in April with a six-round decision win over Yuki Yonaha, while Aceves is coming off an eighth-round TKO against then-unbeaten Adolfo Perez Lopez in June.
Olascuaga (5-1, 3 KOs) also features on the card as he returns in an eight-round light flyweight fight against Magramo (28-3, 23 KOs). BoxRec also lists a four-round super bantamweight clash between debutant Hayato Yokoyama and Takamu Tamagawa (1-2-1, 0 KOs) as taking place on the card.