Kenshiro Teraji-Hekkie Budler and Junto Nakatani-Argi Cortes announced for Sept. 18
Japan’s unified WBA/WBC light flyweight world champion Kenshiro Teraji will defend his titles against South African two-division world champion Hekkie Budler on Monday, September 18, at Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan.
In the co-feature, undefeated Japanese southpaw Junto Nakatani makes the first defense of his WBO junior bantamweight world title against Mexican contender Argi Cortes.
Teraji-Budler, Nakatani-Cortes and additional undercard bouts will stream live and exclusively in the U.S. in the early morning hours on ESPN+.
Teraji (21-1, 13 KOs) earned his first world title by defeating Ganigan Lopez for the WBC 108-pound strap in May 2018. 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 Kyguchi 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. He moved up to junior bantamweight and captured the WBO crown with a highlight-reel knockout against former WBA champ 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. Cortes is coming off a 10-round majority decision win over Adolfo Castillo Gonzalez in March.
Also in that same card, former multi-division kickboxing world champion Tenshin Nasukawa (1-0) will return in an eight-round junior featherweight battle against undefeated Mexican Juan Flores Aceves (9-0, 7 KOs). 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.
Anthony Olascuaga (5-1, 3 KOs), from Los Angeles, looks to bounce back from his defeat to Teraji in an eight-round light flyweight battle against Filipino former world title challenger Giemel Magramo (28-3, 23 KOs).
A press release by Top Rank was used in this article.