Earlier today it was announced that WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji (16-0, 9) [寺地拳四朗] had signed a deal with French company Le Coq Sportif.
The deal, described as an "advisory agreement" by Japanese sources has seen the company produce some special merchandise for Kenshiro, including the white shirt pictures and a similar black coloured one. As well as an agreement for Kenshiro to wear Le Coq Sportif clothing for both the public practices that he takes part in as well as his upcoming title defense on December 23rd, against Filipino Randy Petalcorin (31-3-1, 23).
The longer term plan is to sell Kenshiro inspired merchandise at future fights.
As with most of these clothing designs in Japan they won't be easy to get ahold of, and they are set to be limited in release. However if you're in Japan you can order them from http://www.jiacro.com/, to get them delivered on December 20th, or buy them from the December 23rd show, though they are first come first serve.
It's been an odd week for WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro (16-0, 9) [拳四朗], who saw a planned unification bout with IBF champion Felix Alvarado (35-2, 30) fall through due to health issues with Alvarado. Thankfully as the bout was scheduled for December 23rd things were able to be put in motion to get Kenshiro an alternative opponent.
Today the alternative opponent was announced, and whilst it's not an opponent as good as Alvarado it is still an excellent opponents for less than 5 weeks notice.
The opponent who was named today was Filipino Randy Petalcorin (31-3-1, 23), who is a former Alvarado opponent himself.
The Filipino fighter is ranked in the top 10 by the WBA and IBF, though isn't currently ranked by the WBC however we expect that to change when the rankings are updated in early December.
Petalcorin is a former WBA interim champion who is probably best known for his loss to Alvarado in October 2018 and his controversial decision loss to Omari Kinweri. Despite those defeats he has been in and around the world rankings for years and was once tipped to be a major force in the division, something he would be if he can score the upset in December.
Despite the change of opponent it's hard to imagine Kenshiro losing here, as he looks for his 7th defense.
It's also worth noting that Kenshiro will being going by his birth name Kenshiro Teraji going forward, with the belief being that it will be easier to get attention in the West. We'll admit we doubt the name change will help there.
The baby faced "Amazing Boy" revealed that he wants to fight not only in unification bouts in 2020 but also fight overseas. It seems that that is his real motivation going forward, despite the fact the planned unification bout has fallen through.
Earlier this week news broke that the highly anticipated Light Flyweight world title unification bout between WBC champion Kenshiro (16-0, 9) [拳四朗] and IBF champion Felix Alvarado (35-2, 30), scheduled for December 23rd, had been cancelled due to health issues regarding Alvarado. Today saw further developments in the story.
According multiple Japanese sources Alvarado is suspect to have contracted dengue fever, something a lot more serious than just a bad chest.
Dengue has become more prevalent in Nicaragua recently, and by August this year the US embassy was warning citizens travelling to Nicaragua about the issue, with more than twice as many cases than at the same point in 2018. We really hope that Alvarado isn't suffering from dengue fever, but sources in Japan, who have spoken to Akihiko Honda, have stated his symptoms are similar to those of the fever.
For Kenshiro fans there is clearly going to be disappointment, though sources have also informed us that they are planning to keep the baby faced Japanese champion on the show and that an alternative opponent will be confirmed in the near future.
Given that WBC rankings at 108lbs, and the fighters who are going to be able to make the date, aren't booked else where and the such, they could make some interesting bouts. These include bouts against the likes of Daniel Valladares (21-1, 13), Deejay Kriel (15-1-1, 7), Daniel Matellon (10-0-2, 6) or even Japan's very own Tetsuya Hisada (34-10-2, 20) [久田 哲也].
Whilst we're not going to be seeing a unification bout it is good to hear that Kenshiro will still be on the show, and once again we are really hoping for the best with Alvarado's health.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
On December 23rd we'll see a Light Flyweight unification bout, as WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro (16-0, 9) [拳四朗] takes IBF champion Felix Alvarado (35-2, 30) at the Yokohama Arena.
Today Kenshiro was in the news in Japan for signing his newest contract a management contract with Commons 2, Inc.
Although this means little to those outside of Japan Kenshiro is only the second fighter to sign with the agency that helped guide former WBC Bantamweight champion Shinsuke Yamanaka to becoming a star in Japan.
The contract isn't expected to effect Kenshiro's in ring career but will instead look into securing him more appearances on TV shows, more sponsorship deals and look after his out of the ring activity. His boxing career on the other hand will continue to be guided by his team and the BMB gym, which is headed by his father.
With this deal now signed expect to see Kenshiro's face and likeness on adverts and stuff over the next year or two as his new team look to build his profile outside of the sport.
Related - 10 facts you probably didn't know about...Kenshiro
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
The most interesting of 3 world title bouts announced in Japan this morning was a Light Flyweight unification bout between WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro (16-0, 9) [拳四朗] and IBF champion Felix Alvarado (35-2, 30), who are set to meet in what looks likely to be a late contender for Fight of the Year.
The bout a much demanded Light Flyweight unification bout, with the division having a lot of talent, and a lot of great fights, but no unification bouts since December 2017, when Ryoichi Taguchi and Milan Melindo unified the WBA and IBF titles, which were quickly split less than a year later due to mandatory obligations. It may not be the unification most fans had top of their list, but is still a unification between two well regarded champions in the division, and takes us a step closer to knowing who really is the division's #1 fighter.
The unbeaten Japanese fighter, dubbed "the amazing boy" is a 27 year old who has been a professional for less than 6 years but has been a world champion since May 2017. So far he has racked up 6 defenses of his WBC title, including wins over Pedro Guevara, Ganigan Lopez, Milan Melindo and Jonathan Taconing. Although not regarded as a puncher he has scored 4 stoppage in his 6 world title bouts, including stoppages over Melindo and Taconing, who had never previously been stopped.
Kenshiro had been in the running to face fellow Japanese world champion Hiroto Kyoguchi, the WBA "super" champion, though with that failing to materialise this really is as good a second choice as we could have had.
At today's press conference Kenshiro stated “I can finally aim for a different belt. I hope I can show a new Ken Shiro. I want the other belts, so I think it will be an important game as the first step of my dream.” (loose translation from Japanese) and added “If I keep my distance, there willl be no problem.” (also loosely translated from Japanese)
The very under-rated and under-talked about Alvarado is a beast. He's the sort of fighter who is rightly avoided and he has one of the the strongest arguments of any active world class fighter to say he is an avoided man. He's been the IBF champion since since October 2018, when he stopped Randy Petalcorin in the Philippines, and has only been able to secure a single defense, against Reiya Konishi this past May. Although he has two losses on his record he is unbeaten in over 5 years, with those defeats coming in 2013 to Kazuto Ioka and 204 to Juan Carlos Reveco.
Since his back to back losses Alvarado has been on a scary run, going 17-0 (15), and looks to be one of the most dangerous men in the sport. It's worth noting that the Light Flyweight division is packed with feared fighters right now, including Carlos Canizales, Elwin Soto and Angel Acosta, but Alvarado is the one who seems to be given the widest berth, with few really mentioning his name in interviews or chasing bouts with him.
Whilst it might not be the Light Flyweight bout that fans in Japan most wanted, few will complain at what is one of the best bouts that could be made in any division.
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