Back in September we saw a massive upset in Japan as long reigning WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji (17-1, 10) [寺地 拳四朗] was dethroned by the hard hitting Masamichi Yabuki (13-3, 12) [佐藤政道]. It was, and still is, one of the biggest upsets of 2021.
After the bout controversy ensued with Teraji's team noting that their fighter had been the victim of a headclash in round 9 that had left him damaged. That controversy then boiled over when Hisashi Teraji, Kenshiro's father and promoter, held a press conference talking about the situation and a potential rematch, essentially asking the JBC to do the right thing and order a rematch. Afterall, they had reviewed the footage and seen the headclash, which Mr Teraji thought was deliberate but the JBC ruled was accidental.
Today, a week after Mr Teraji's press conference, there was another press conference with Mr Teraji being joined by Shinse Gym chairman Masato Yamashita, who promoted the fight, and Toshiro Matsuo, the chairman of the Midori Gym which Yabuki fighters out of.
At today's event Masato Yamashita stated that things had progressed and that a rematch had been agreed by the teams of the two fighters. Not only that but the plan is to hold that rematch in Spring 2022, with Kenshiro recently returning to the gym recently to begin training for that rematch.
He also revealed that the rematch has been ordered by the WBC, who have reviewed the footage, and decided a rematch was the right thing to do, due to the head clash, and the fact Kenshiro has been a champion for around 4 years. The WBC had written to the JBC to confirm the rematch order.
Notably at today's event all 3 men were critical of the JBC through out the press conference. Explaining that they had been slow to react, slow to review the footage, ineffective and made decisions that didn't make sense. These are worrying comments given the previously reported anger of the JPBA at the JBC, following several incidents earlier in the year, and the recent ultimatum which could see the JPBA break away completely from the JBC.
Interestingly the rematch is expected to be held in Nagoya, with Yabuki being quoted as stating he wanted to fight there, though it does appear that full details on the rematch are yet to be decided on.
Back in September we saw a major upset in Japan as Kenshiro Teraji (17-1, 10) [寺地 拳四朗] was dethroned of the WBC Light Flyweight title by Japanese fighter Masamichi Yabuki (13-3, 12) [佐藤政道], in of the biggest upsets at world level this year.
Yesterday there was a press conference held by Kenshiro's father, and promoter, Hisashi Teraji, along with lawyer Nobuyoshi Tsujiguchi, in which Mr Teraji made it clear he was looking to secure a rematch for his son.
Mr Teraji is looking to get a rematch secured due to the way his son lost, with a cut being opened on Kenshiro in round 9 from a clash of heads. The headclash was ruled by JBC officials to have been an intentional headbutt when they reviewed video of the bout, however the referee seemed to have missed the foul. Although the foul affected Teraji the officials are not looking to over-turn the result, due to the effective boxing of Yabuki through the fight, but it appears that a push for a rematch is something they are open to.
At the press conference Teraji was very critical of the JBC. He stated the head clashes were a repeated act, and that he had "got a glimpse of the JBC's dishonesty", whilst hoping the for a rematch and hoping that JBC officials would more care regarding clashes in a rematch.
Notably Hisashi didn't go as for as to demand a rematch from the JBC, but hinted that they should do the right thing and hold their own press conference to regarding the situation.
It was noted that Kenshiro himself will be making a statement regarding his future, and the potential rematch, in the near future.
Tomorrow in Kyoto we'll see WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji (17-0, 10) [寺地 拳四朗] look to make his 9th defense of the WBC title as he takes on fellow Japanese fighter Masamichi Yabuki (12-3, 11) [佐藤政道]. Today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in, and both men made the 108lb limit with no issues at all.
The champion was around 107.5lbs, coming in comfortably under the limit. He wasn't just under the divisional limit, but he looked in great shape. He explained that he was feeling great, and was determined to record his 9th defense of the title.
Notably his trainer also said that he was in great shape, and that despite suffering from Covid19 the champion was in really good condition. Interestingly his trainer, Kenta Kato, did explain that Kenshiro put on a bit too much weight between the weigh in and his last bout, against Testsuya Hisada, and has been told to hold back on the food a little this time around.
As for the challenger, he was slightly heavier, coming in at around 107.7lbs for the bout, still comfortably under the divisional limit. Like the champion he looked in great shape, in fact he looked better than the champion. He also explained that his training went well and that he was in really good condition, before explaining that he'll show what he's been practicing. Sadly however he refused to make any comment regarding his gameplan, but did share that he was only thinking about becoming the new champion.
Related - Kenshiro takes on Yabuki in defense #9! (Fight preview)
Later this week we'll see WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji (17-0, 10) [寺地 拳四朗]defending his title against fellow Japanese fighter Masamichi Yabuki (12-3, 11) [佐藤政道]. Today, ahead of that bout, the two men took part in some pre-fight formalities in Kyoto, in what was the first meeting between the two men in 11 weeks.
Part of the formalities today were PCR tests, or rather Yabuki under-going a PRC test, which gave a negative result. Kenshiro didn't need to take one, according to JBC rules, as he has had a negative test recently, following a bout with Covid in August.
Another of the formalities was a press conference featuring the two men. At the press conference Kenshiro apologised for the postponement of the bout, which was caused when he had Covid in August forcing the bout to be delayed by 12 days. He explained that despite his illness his condition was good and that he would win this bout. Since his public work out, a week ago, he has been staying in shape with shadow boxing and mitt work, and sparred a single session since then.
In regards to Yabuki, the champion explained that he has to be wary of Yabuki's power, and he has been warned that the challenger holds heavy hands.
As for Yabuki he explained that he is confident of winning this bout, and explained that things were different to his last fight, as he needs to isolate longer than he has for other bouts in the pandemic era, with other bouts in Japan resulting in isolation following the weigh whilst world title fights are an extra day longer.
Another formality was the choosing of gloves. Both men will be wearing Winning, with Kenshiro using black and Yabuki in blue.
One of the more notable formalities was the official medical. These showed Kenshiro to be the naturally smaller man, giving away reach, height and thickness to Yabuki, though it should be noted that Yabuki did start his career as a Flyweight whilst Kenshiro has only fought as a Light Flyweight during his career, so the champion being the smaller man isn't really much of a surprise.
Related - Kenshiro takes on Yabuki in defense #9! (Fight preview)
We are just over a week away from seeing WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji (17-0, 10) [寺地 拳四朗]defending his title against fellow Japanese fighter Masamichi Yabuki (12-3, 11) [佐藤政道]. Yesterday, ahead of the bout, Kenshiro took part in a media work out, and looked in good shape, especially for someone who had recently been suffering from Covid19. Today it was the turn of Yabuki to take part in his media work out and speak to the media about how he was coming in to the bout.
Yabuki explained that to prepare for this bout he has done about 80 rounds of sparring, including ring time with the likes of Kosei Tanaka and Sho Ishida. He explained that the postponement of the bout, which pushed it from September to September 22nd, allowed him to get in an extra 20 rounds of sparring for the contest, which it seems will be valuable for him here.
When talking about Kenshiro, Yabuki seems to have scouted his man well, explaining that he was aware of Kenshiro's jab and control of distance, but that he had plans to of his own and it seems likely that he is confident in his own jab.
In regards to weight Yabuki is about 4KG's (9lbs) above the Light Flyweight limit about the moment, but that's what he and his team were expecting, and it doesn't appear that there will be any issue at all with him making the 108lb limit.
In regards to the actual work out today Yabuki did some shadow boxing and some mitt work with his trainer. Interesting he switched southpaw a few times during the work out, as if to suggest he may be switching hitting when he faces Kenshiro. He looked sharp, and really powerful, through out the work out, and it's clear he's not looking to make up the numbers when he gets in the ring with the champion later this month.
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