By Joe Koizumi
Photos: Naoki Fukuda
Teiken Promotions announced a long-anticipated world title unification bout of WBC light-flyweight titlist Kenshiro Teraji (19-1, 11 KOs) and WBA super champ Hiroto Kyoguchi (16-0, 11 KOs), both of Japan, at the Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, on November 1.
Teraji, who recently regained his belt from compatriot Masamichi Yabuki, said, “I wish to unify all belts and this is the first step for ultimate unification.” Kyoguchi, two years his junior at 28, also confidently said, “I feel highly motivated to face Kenshiro to acquire another belt in green color.”
When both were amateur university boxers, Teraji won three times to one for Kyoguchi. We will see a unification bout between Japanese contestants since WBC 105-pound ruler Kazuto Ioka defeated WBA titleholder Akira Yaegashi after a grueling battle in 2012.
In a companion title go, WBO 108-pound kingpin Jonathan “Bomba” Gonzalez (26-3-1-1NC, 14 KOs), Puerto Rico, will put his belt on the line against up-and-coming Japanese prospect WBO#2 Shokichi Iwata (9-0, 6 KOs) over twelve.
Current WBO flyweight champ Junto Nakatani (23-0, 18 KOs) will take on former 105-pound titlist Francisco Rodriguez (36-5-1, 25 KOs), Mexico, over a super-fly ten.
In a competitive lightweight bout, unbeaten Shuichiro Yoshino (15-0, 11 KOs) will risk his WBO Asia Pacific belt against ex-OPBF ruler Masayoshi Nakatani (20-2, 14 KOs), over twelve. Nakatani had upset Felix Verdejo but lost to Vasyl Lomachenko—both in the US.
The sensational show will be shown through Amazon Prime Video here in Japan, and through ESPN+ stream in US.