Kenshiro Teraji Scores Sensational TKO Over Kyoguchi
Fireworks Tuesday night in Japan, as WBC junior flyweight champ Kenshiro Teraji out-slugged fellow countryman and WBA champ Hiroto Kyoguchi to score a 7th round TKO and become unified 105 lb. titleholder.
Teraji was the busier, more effective fighter throughout the scheduled 12 rounder and eventually, overwhelmed Kyoguchi with his hard right hands to get a spectacular stoppage late in the 7th.
The bout was the main event of a show from Saitama, Japan (about 30 km north of Tokyo) that was streamed on ESPN+ in the U.S. and DAZN throughout Europe,
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) November 1, 2022
Teraji scored the first knockdown in what turned out to be a wild 5th round. He landed a hard right to the side of Kyoguchi’s head dropping him in the first minute. However, after seeming to punch himself out late in the round. Kyoguchi staggered Teraji with a left-right combo and then trapped him in the corner. Koguchi landed a big right hand that wobbled Teraji with seconds remaining in the fifth and the bell saved him from further punishment or a knockdown.
However, Teraji regained his wits and composure in between rounds and continued to score at distance with the right hand and fast combos.
The end came in the 7th when Teraji caught Kyoguchi with another hard right down the middle that staggered him back. He landed another straight right that had Kyoguchi out on his feet and leaning sideways on the ropes, when the referee waved the bout off at 2:36.
“That was close, but I did it,” Teraji said in the ring. “I finally got the two belts….It was a lot of learning experience. It was a tough fight. Kyoguchi was a tough guy.”
I know I’m confident that if I extend the punches, I could be superior to him.
I was relaxed, but I got a little nervous when I came in the ring. Everybody knew. I had a confidence of winning this fight because I had my distance throughout the fight.
I want to fight him again for sure. I couldn’t finish him in that round. That’s something I regret. I need to look back on it. I got the win. I am so happy right now.”
Known as, “The Amazing Boy,” Teraji, now 20-1, 12 KOs, is a veteran who won his WBC world title in May 2017. He had made eight defenses of that crown until a stunning 10th-round knockout defeat to Masamichi Yabuki in September 2021. However, less than six months later, Teraji exacted his revenge with a third-round knockout over Yabuki to regain his title.
Kyoguchi, now 16-1, 11 KOs, was also the IBF 105-pound champ until he vacated that belt to move up to light flyweight. He won the WBA light flyweight crown on New Year’s Eve 2018 against Hekkie Budler, and had made four title defenses before suffering his first loss on the TKO Tuesday
In the co-feature bout Tuesday night, Puerto Rican Jonathan Gonzalez successfully defended his WBO 105 lb. title, as he won unanimous decision 117-111, 116-112 x 2 over previously unbeaten Shokichi Iwata.
Gonzalez, nicknamed “Bomba,” improved to 27-3-1, by using a superior right jab and straight lefts out of the southpaw stance throughout the fight. Iwata was never able to solve Gonzalez’s strategy and put out enough offense.
Now, there’s the possibility that Gonzalez will meet Teraji for three of the four belts at junior flyweight in the first part of 2023.
“I want to fight Gonzalez. It would be nice to get in the ring together,” Teraji said. “We are now one step forward to make it happen.”