Courtesy of George Delis (@Delisketo)
The Japanese local scene will witness another interesting match up this Thursday on the June 14th between Hiroaki Teshigawara and Teiru Kinoshita for the WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title.
Hiroaki Teshigawara (16-2-2, 9), the defending champion, has climbed the Bantamweight rankings quite fast, despite having to deal with a few injuries in the past. A dynamic and exciting boxer, Teshigawara won his first major championship on October of 2017 after he obliterated the much more experienced Jetro Pabustan (29-4-6*) giving the Filipino his only KO loss in the ring (video below). In just 4 months, the Japanese prodigy successfully defended his belt against another well versed opponent in Jason Canoy (27-7-2*), earning the unanimous decision after a hard fought battle.
Teiru Kinoshita (26-2-1, 9) is a former Japanese title holder and the #1 contender for Hiroaki’s WBO championship, has had his ups and downs in his 10 years as a pro. He went undefeated at 13-0-1 when he beat Go Onaga (17-1-2*) for the Japanese Super Flyweight strap. Teiru accumulated 5 successful title defenses over the like of Kenji Oba (22-1-2*) and Toyoto Shiraishi (23-6-1*) before he challenged Zolani Tete in 2012 (now WBO Bantamweight champion, for the IBF Super Flyweight title). After his loss, he gathered 6 more wins, although against much inferior opponents, and in 2017 tried to capture once more the IBF title but once again came up short.
This fight means a lot for both fighters. Teshigawara is currently ranked #7 by the WBO and is on a 4 fight winning streak. A win here has huge implications, considering the WBSS Bantamweight tournament that’s looming around the corner. For Kinoshita, this fight means redemption and a chance to prove himself worthy to the Japanese fans.
Predicition: Teshigawara has the edge here. He’s the younger fighter of the two, has the higher KO ratio and is continuously competing against top tier opponents. While he is moving up the ladder, Teiru is struggling to keep up with the rest of the guys. The champion’s hunger to secure a world title shot or a spot at the WBSS, will give him the focus that he needs to effectively dispose of his rival.
*The boxer’s record before the fight
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