Yesterday we saw Kenshiro Teraji (19-1, 11) [寺地 拳四朗] reclaim the WBC Light Flyweight title, stopping Masamichi Yabuki (13-4, 12) [佐藤政道] in 3 rounds to take the title back. Today, following that win, Kenshiro attended a press conference to talk about the bout, his performance and what's next for the "Amazing Boy".
Regarding getting the title back, Kenshiro stated he was happy and like he was in a dream, whilst admitting he didn't sleep much last night. He stated that his social media account on LINE, a Japanese social media service, blew up, with hundreds of messages following the win.
Regarding strategy it seemed there was a deliberate change in how Kenshiro fights, and that was spoken about by the fighter and his trainer, who explained that they had more success in fighting than usual, and that that was part of the game plan to defeat Yabuki. They also stated that would be incorporated more regularly in how the champion fights, adding "the opponents will be confused", as if to note it's an extra tool in his locker that he can use as and when he needs to. It was also explained that his focus during training was on improving his defense, with Kenta Kato offering specific technical changes to how Kenshiro uses defense, and making it more focused on correct movements to allow him to get close, as he did against Yabuki.
Interestingly he Kenshiro was said to have been "awakened" by the loss, and added "Thanks to Yabuki, I became stronger. Thank you."
As for the future, it's unclear what is next for Kenshiro, and we have seen him being called out by Cuban talent Daniel Matellon on social media, though there was hints that Kenshiro would be looking at unification bouts and potentially moving weight, a huge change in focus from where he was a year ago, when he was hunting the Japanese defenses record. One name that was uttered as a possible bout for the champion was WBA Light Flyweight "super" champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (15-0, 10) [京口 紘人], though Kenshiro's team neither confirmed or denied the potential of that bout.
Tomorrow we'll see the much anticipated rematch between WBC Light Flyweight champion Masamichi Yabuki (13-3, 12) [佐藤政道] and former champion Kenshiro Teraji (18-1, 10) [寺地 拳四朗]. The two men are set to clash in a Kyoto, with Kenshiro seeking to reclaim the title he lost to Yabuki last year, in what was an very notable upset, whilst Yabuki looks to prove that his win in 2021 had nothing to do with Kenshiro's suffering from covid before the fight and headbutts during the contest.
Today, ahead of their rematch, the two fighters took part in their official weigh in, and both men made the 108lbs with no issues at all.
On the scales a ripped looking champion was 107.6lbs, whilst looking in the best shape of his career. After making weight he spoke about going back to the hotel and eating, and explained that he was confident, and that this was going to be a good match, as two fighters who were full of confidence would be facing off. His confidence oozed through as he explained he was going to remain the champion.
As for Kenshiro, who was around 107.4lbs, he had a serious look on his face through much of the weigh in, though like the defending champion he looked in great shape and like a man who was determined to reclaim the WBC title, which he had defended 8 times before facing Yabuki. He explained that his conditioning for this fight was "completely different from the last time", alluding to the fact he had had covid in the build up to the fight and then had struggled to make weight. He added that he was concentrating on winning, stated that he was the strongest and that he was here to raise his profile.
Sadly for fans outside of Japan it seems the bout will not be available to watch, though those in Japan will get the chance to see the bout live, and free, on Abema TV.
Related - Yabuki Vs Kenshiro - The Rematch (Preview)
This coming weekend we'll see WBC Light Flyweight champion Masamichi Yabuki (13-3, 12) [佐藤政道] defending the title against former champion Kenshiro Teraji (18-1, 10) [寺地 拳四朗], in a rematch of their bout from last year, which saw Yabuki end the reign of Kenshiro and score a major upset.
Today, ahead of their rematch, the two men took part in some of the pre-fight formalities, with a pre-fight medical check up, a signing ceremony and the glove selection event.
In regards to the medical checks, neither man had any medical issues, with the key take aways from the medical being their physical measurements. Interestingly the measurements of the two men seemed to suggest that both fighters are actually smaller than they were a year ago, though we do wonder if the measurements were taken consistently. One of the most clear examples of the differences between measurements was in reach, where last time out Yabuki was reportedly boasting a 3.5cm reach advantage, which has now been reduced to 1cm, if today's measurements are accurate. Another notable change was the pulse rate, with Yabuki having a 43bpm pulse for their first bout, and now having a 79bpm rate, almost double of what it was last September.
Yabuki attended the events wearing an anime t-shirt, with a character from Fist of the North Star on it, in fact it's one of the rivals of main character Kenshiro. Yabuki seemed almost proud of the shirt selection and to be honest, it was a nice touch. He explained that he was going to be aggressive here, and fight much like he had in their first bout. Unsurprisingly, given his win over Kenshiro last year, he was full of confidence.
As for Kenshiro, he stated he was the best in the division, he was excited for this match and that his preparation has been smooth for this bout, somethign that certainly wasn't the case for the first bout between these two. Kenshiro explained that he was going to being more firm with his jab, and that he wanted to reclaim the belt as soon as possible.
For those interested in the glove situation, both men have selected black gloves for the bout
Related - Yabuki Vs Kenshiro - The Rematch
Next weekend we'll see WBC Light Flyweight champion Masamichi Yabuki (13-3, 12) [佐藤政道] make his first defense, as he faces the man he beat for the title, Kenshiro Teraji (18-1, 10) [寺地 拳四朗]. Today, ahead of that bout, Yabuki took part in a media work out and press conference in Japan.
During the press conference Yabuki revealed he did his final sparring for the bout yesterday, doing a full 12 round spar to prepare for the bout, much like he did for the first bout with Kenshiro, last year. He also explained that this is the most confident he has ever been as a professional fighter and it did seem like confidence oozed out of him through the press conference.
Regarding his tactics for the bout, he stated "I know what to do because I've fought once. I'll do what the other person dislikes." He also spoke about the advantages that Kenshiro has, explaining that Kenshiro has good sense of distance and jab, is tough and has impressive stamina.
Sadly as far as the work out went, it was a pretty short one, with shadow boxing being the most notable part of it. It was difficult to get too much of a read on him, though he seemed thoroughly relaxed and self assured through out the event.
Notably it was also revealed that Yabuki was 50.2KG's, or 110.67lbs, and Kenshiro was 50.1KG's, or 100.45lbs, with both just a bit over the divisional limit for the bout, with a week to lose the weight. Given those weights neither man should have any issue at all making 108lbs next weekend.
In just over a week's time we'll see WBC Light Flyweight champion Masamichi Yabuki (13-3, 12) [佐藤政道] take on former champion Kenshiro Teraji (18-1, 10) [寺地 拳四朗], with Teraji getting a chance to reclaim the title he lost to Yabuki last year.
Today, ahead of that bout, Kenshiro took part in a public work out for the bout and spoke like a man who was confident to bounce back from his sole loss, and get revenge for the huge upset that ended his lengthy title reign.
Before taking part in the work part of the event there was a press conference with the Japanese media. During that press Kenshiro explained that "Because I'm a challenger, it's a little different from usual, but I just want to win firmly. I want to show a match that says", notably this will be his first bout as a challenger since first winning the WBC title back in 2017.
It was also revealed that to prepare for the bout he has done 150 rounds of sparring.
As for how his camp and preparations have been, his trainer explained "We thought too much about the opponent last time. This time, I brushed up on Kenshiro's boxing."
The confidence exuded through the press conference, with Kenshiro's father and promoter Hisashi, stating that he was convinced of his son winning and reclaiming the title that he had defended 8 times prior to last year's upset loss.
As for the actual work out, Kenshiro did a round of shadow boxing, a round on the punch mitts and a round on the heavy bag. Through out the session he looked razor sharp, showing a great jab through out.
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