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Kenshiro Teraji Defends Multiple Titles With Close Majority Decision Victory

Teraji retains junior flyweight titles in thrilling bout with Canizales

At the EDION Arena in Osaka, Japan, on Tuesday, junior flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji successfully defended his titles as champion of the Ring Magazine, WBA, and WBC by winning by a close majority decision over veteran opponent Carlos Canizales.


In an exciting back-and-forth match that ended with both junior flyweights on the canvas, Teraji (23-1, 14 KOs) stopped Canizales with a right to the forehead in the second round, and Canizales (26-2-1, 19 KOs) did the same in Round 3, flooring Teraji with a right hand. Teraji won by scores of 114-112 (twice) and 113-113.


Teraji, 32, from Japan let everything go in the fourth round with acrimonious exchanges. When Teraji exerted pressure, Canizales a 30-year old boxer from Venezuela did a nice job of circling him and mixed up his blows, landing both body and head strikes. Teraji’s jab and right cross were his main strikes.


Teraji frequently permitted the persistent Canizales to grab rounds with furious bursts just before the bell as the battle remained intense in the fifth, sixth, and seventh rounds. Round 6 ended with a left hook that seemed to shake  Teraji. Following a brutal back-and-forth round in round seven, Teraji’s corner begged the champion to depend less on pressure and more on his jab and sideways mobility.


It was beginning to appear that Teraji’s exhausting fight was his last professional defeat at the hands of Masamichi Yabuki, who won the WBC title by stopping him in the tenth round in 2021. As the fight neared its conclusion, Teraji seemed to be losing ground on Canizales for the 108-pound title. In 2022, Teraji stopped Hiroto Kyoguchi in the seventh round to regain the green belt via knockout. He also added the Ring Magazine and WBA titles to his collection.


“He was so tough,” said Teraji in media reports. 


“I had to change my strategy over the second half of the fight and try to control the distance,” he added.


Canizales was able to create heated exchanges in the closing moments of the ninth and tenth rounds, but Teraji prevailed for the most part of the late rounds thanks to his stick-and-move style. Teraji’s conservative strategies paid off on the official scorecards, as he improved his speed in the eleventh Round and then basically ran out of time in the final round.

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