Kenshiro Teraji halts Hekkie Budler in nine, Junto Nakatani outpoints Argi Cortes
Kenshiro Teraji defended his Ring Magazine, WBC and WBA 108-pound titles with a ninth-round stoppage of former champ Hekkie Budler on Monday in Tokyo.
The 35-year-old challenger set a fast pace from the opening bell but Teraji matched the spirited South African and landed the harder punches to the body and head throughout the competitive match, which headlined at Ariake Arena.
Budler (35-5, 11 KOs), the busier fighter, was on the move early in the bout but the two-division champ settled down to fight more in the pocked in the middle rounds, which featured hot action. Teraji (22-1, 14 KOs), who suffered a cut over his right eye early in Round 5, landed one-twos, uppercuts and choice body shots during their exchanges, but was also caught with his share of punches from Budler.
The Japanese standout found his rhythm in Round 8, and overwhelmed Budler along the ropes at 2:19 of the following round.
Budler is The Ring’s No. 2-rated junior flyweight. After the bout Teraji said he wishes to face The Ring’s No. 1 contender, WBO titleholder Jonathan Gonzalez, next.
In one of two co-main events, Junto Nakatani, The Ring’s No. 3-rated junior bantamweight, made the first defense of his WBO title with a unanimous decision over a determined Argi Cortes.
Nakatani (26-0, 19 KOs), a 25-year-old southpaw who does most of his training in the U.S. with California-based trainer Rudy Hernandez, scored two knockdowns in Round 5 and one in Round 9 en route to lopsided scores of 119-106 (twice) and 118-107.
Nakatani controlled the distance against Cortes (24-4-2, 10 KOs) and generally outworked the former title challenger but the 28-year-old Mexican had moments and never stopped marching forward.
In a special eight-round attraction, former kickboxing star Tenshin Nasukawa won his second pro bout with a unanimous decision over rugged Luis Guzman. Nasukawa (2-0), a dynamic and flamboyant southpaw who amassed a 42-0 record in kickboxing before trying his hand at boxing, scored a knockdown with a laser0like straight left in the opening round but couldn’t close the show against the strong and durable national bantamweight of Mexico.
It looked like the Japanese sensation scored knockdowns in Rounds 7 and 8 but referee Biney Martin seemingly waved them off as “slips.” Still, Nasukawa, who flashed a quick jab and struck with bursting power punchers (including several body shots), won a unanimous shutout decision (80-70). Guzman (10-3, 6 KOs) was game throughout and had moments when he scored with single haymakers, usually a right hand.
Check back for post-fight comments from the winners courtesy of Yuriko Miyata, who is on the scene, and action photos from Naoki Fukuda, who was ringside.
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