Just over a week ago we had a card in Tokyo headlined by Shuichiro Yoshino, who retained his OPBF, WBO Asia Pacific and JBC Lightweight titles. On the same was an exhibition featuring WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji (17-0, 10). With "The Amazing Boy" still having no bout scheduled we thought this was an ideal time to look at some potential opponents for Teraji, and give him the "Five For" Treatment.
Although travel restrictions regarding travel to Japan are expected to be loosened in the near future we have tried to make these selections viable from a travel perspective. Sadly this rules out fighters from South Africa, the US, Mexico, the Philippines and Indonesia. As a result we have limited this list to Japan, where internal travel restrictions aren't an issue, and Thailand, where we know the current situation is somewhat under control and a viable country to get visiting fighters from.
As WBA champion Hiroto Kyoguchi has his next bout arranged, and without full venues, he's not been considered as a potential opponent here.
1-Tetsuya Hisada (34-10-2, 20)
The most interesting potential bout for Kenshiro, by far, would be a defense against Japanese veteran Tetsuya Hisada. This bout has several interesting sub stories. Firstly it would give us a way to compare Kenshiro to Hiroto Kyoguchi, who beat Hisada in a competitive bout last year. Secondly it would see us getting a bout we were supposed to get years ago, when Hisada was the mandatory challenger to Kenshiro when he was the Japanese champion. And thirdly it would also see the champion taking on the man the WBC rank as the #1 contender. With Hisada turning 36 in October and opportunities being very limited for him this would be a great option, and a potentially very interesting match up for the champion.
2-Satanmuanglek CP Freshmart (11-1, 5)
Hisada isn't the only former Hiroto Kyoguchi that we would like to see challenge Kenshiro. Another former Kyoguchi opponent that we'd like to see Kenshiro share the ring with is Thailand's Satanmuanglek CP Freshmart. This would be a very interesting match up against a challenger in his prime who showed skills and toughness against Kyoguchi despite losing a clear decision. It's a shame we've not see Satanmuanglek in a boxing ring since his loss to Kyoguchi, but he has remained active and has fought in a few kick boxing bouts since then. He's a talented, hungry and tough challenger, who would ask questions of Kenshiro, and again allow comparisons to Kyoguchi.
3-Masamichi Yabuki (11-3, 11)
Going back to Japan a bout between Kenshiro and Japanese national champion Masamichi Yabuki would be a well received domestic show down, even if it wouldn't generate much international buzz. The hard hitting Yabuki has looked incredibly since dropping down in weight, last year, and has dismantled domestic youngsters Rikito Shiba and Tsuyoshi Sato. At 28 years old and riding a 4 fight stoppage run Yabuki has got momentum behind him, but a bout with the WBC champion would be a massive step up in class. This is probably the easiest bout to make, given Yabuki has spoke about fighting for a world title, but also one of the ones that wouldn't create any attention outside of Japan, sadly.
4-Panya Pradabsri (33-1, 21)
The bout we actually want the most from this short list is Panya Pradabsri, a talented 29 year old Thai, who may well be the toughest opponent on the list. The talented Thai is a solid boxer-puncher with decent power, nice aggression and under-rated speed and skills. Sadly he has been wasting his time, and he will continue to do so later this month in another stay busy fight, but he is a very solid fighter who has scored plenty of solid regional wins during his career. We see him potentially posing the most problems for Kenshiro and having the tools to question the champion. Sadly though he is busy with a bout on September 25th, hasn't travelled since controversially losing to Xiong Zhao Zhong in 2017, and looks to be unsure if he really wants to continue at Light Flyweight, with his next bout being at 105lbs.
5-Tsubasa Koura (15-1, 10)
A wild card suggestion for number 5, but an option we really like, would be a bout between Kenshiro and once beaten fighter Tsubasa Koura, who would have to move up in weight for the but we don't see that being much of an issue. For Kenshiro this would be regarded as an easier defense, against a smaller, less experienced man who was stopped just 2 fights ago, but it would be a very easy to make bout. For Kenshiro this would scratch an itch, keep him busy and get him some ring rime, whilst Koura would get a world title fight, and a chance to get his career back on track after a frustrating year or two. In the ring this would be a pretty interesting for a few rounds, before Kenshiro finds his groove and puts his foot on the gas. If Kenshiro wants an easy defense, after having been out of the ring since December, this one makes a lot of sense.
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).