At the start of the month the excellent @BarbosaBox revealed details of a Japanese super show set for November 1st, with 3 very notable bouts. Today that card was confirmed as Teiken held a press conference, not just confirming the details from Barbosa box, but also announcing there was a 4th notable bout for the card, as well as details regarding venue, tickets and the Japanese broadcaster for the show.
As originally reported the card is a super show for the lighter fighters, especially the Light Flyweight division with a mouth watering world title double header at 108lbs. The main bout will see WBA Light Flyweight "Super" Champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (16-0, 11) [京口 紘人] take on WBC champion Kenshiro Teraji (19-1, 11) [寺地 拳四朗] in a much anticipated, and highly demanded all-Japanese unification bout, whilst the chief support bout will see unbeaten Japanese fighter Shokichi Iwata (9-0, 6) [岩田 翔吉] challenge WBO world champion Jonathan Gonzalez (26-3-1-1, 14). The two title bouts really are sensational match ups, and could well lead to a triple title unification bout in the new year.
The third bout that had been previous mentioned was a non-title bout between WBO Flyweight champion Junto Nakatani (22-0, 17) [中谷 潤人] and Francisco Rodriguez Jr (36-5-1, 25), with the two men clashing in a 10 rounder at Super Flyweight, giving Nakatani a chance to test the waters at a new weight.
The press conference to announce the show also saw Teiken announce that the unbeaten Shuichiro Yoshino (14-0, 10) [吉野 修一郎] would be defending his WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight title against Masayoshi Nakatani (20-2, 14) [中谷正義], in a bout that will likely put the winner on the verge of a world title fight, whilst the loser will have a long, long way to climb back. Entering the bout both men are world ranked, and both will be sniffing around a shot at the unified Lightweight throne.
The show, which will take place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, will be broadcast in Japan by Amazon Prime, who continue to put on the most notable shows in Japan and have seemingly found working formula of putting on massive shows in the country, something they could replicate around the globe over the coming years.
It's also now been confirmed that the show will also be broadcast in the US on ESPN+, giving international fans a chance to watch the stacked event.
According to the ever reliable BarbosaBox there is set to be a super card for the little men on November 1st in Japan, with 3 very good looking and notable fights all on a single show.
One of the three bouts had been rumoured for a good while, and that's a defense of the WBO Light Flyweight title by talented champion Jonathan Gonzalez (26-3-1-1, 14), who will be taking on unbeaten Japanese fighter Shokichi Iwata (9-0, 6) [岩田 翔吉]. For Gonzalez the bout serves as his second defense of the title, whilst Iwata, a triple crown winner having unified the WBO Asia Pacific, OPBF and Japanese titles, will be getting his first world title fight and his first chance to do at the elite level.
The second most notable bout on the show will see WBO Flyweight champion Junto Nakatani (22-0, 17) [中谷 潤人] potentially testing the water at 115lbs in a bout against Francisco Rodriguez Jr (36-5-1, 25), who returns to Japan for the first time since a 2021 loss to WBO Super Flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka [井岡一翔]. This should serve as a test for Nakatani, with the bout scheduled to be a 10 rounder, rather than a defense of his title, and is likely to see him put his feelers out to see how the higher weight feels and whether or not he can beat a tough, aggressive, rough fighter like Rodriguez.
The main event for the show is set to be a bout we've clamoured for for years, and that will see WBA Light Flyweight "Super" Champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (16-0, 11) [京口 紘人] take on WBC champion Kenshiro Teraji (19-1, 11) [寺地 拳四朗], in a bout that feels like it's hard more than enough time to simmer, build up and stew. This bout, between the top two fighter at 108lbs, will see the WBA and WBC titles unified, and will be only the second time in history that we've had a true unification bout between two Japanese world champions, following the tremendous bout between Ioka and Akira Yaegashi back in 2012.
This past weekend we saw WBA Light Flyweight "Super" champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (16-0, 11) [京口 紘人] record his latest win, as he stopped "regular" champion Esteban Bermudez (14-4-2, 10) to unify the Super and Regular titles. The fighter arrived back in Japan earlier today (June 13th) and had the chance to talk to the media about the bout and his future.
Regardinv the bout, he explained that the altitude for the contest, around 1500-1600M lad to conditions which were "more stuffy and harder than expected". He also stated that he "can understand why he was deducted 2 points in the fight in Mexico" before adding that he was able to "embody the image of Roman Gonzalez", a fighter Kyoguchi has often admitted to being a fan of.
As for the future, it appears that Matchroom has offered Kyoguchi a much wanted unification bout, with a contest against WBO champion Jonathan Gonzalez (25-3-1-1, 14) being offered to him for the September 17th in Las Vegas, on the under-card of Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (57-2-2, 39) Vs Gennady Golovkin (42-1-1, 37) [Геннадий Геннадьевич Головкин] III. Though Gonzalez will need to over-come Filipino challenger Mark Anthony Barriga (11-1, 2) on June 24th for that bout to go ahead.
Whilst a Kyoguchi Vs Gonzalez bout would be a fantastic match up, and see the division getting it's first real unification bout since 2017, when Kyoguchi's former stablemate Ryocihi Taguchi beat Milan Melindo, there will be some disappointment at the fact Kyoguchi won't be facing WBC champion, and fellow Japanese fighter, Kenshiro Teraji (19-1, 11) [寺地 拳四朗], with that bout being one fans of the the lower weights have longed for for several years now.
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)
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