Kenshiro Teraji Blasts Hekkie Budler Out In 9; Retains Unified Status!

Kenshiro Teraji Eyes Jonathan Gonzalez Next!

Collage of Kenshiro Teraji vs Hekkie Budler
Kenshiro Teraji defeats Hekkie Budler

Kenshiro Teraji Stops Hekkie Budler In 9


At the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan, Kenshiro “The Amazing Boy” Teraji (22-1, 14 KOs) put his unified junior flyweight status on the line against mandatory challenger Hekkie “The Hexecutioner” Budler (35-5, 11 KOs).

Fight enthusiasts consider Teraji one of the elite fighters in the lower-weight divisions. 2022 was a fantastic year for the 31-year-old. Not only did he become a unified champion at 108, he was also named 3kingsboxing.com’s Comeback Fighter of Year. His previous outing was a ninth-round stoppage over Anthony Olascuaga in April 2023.

The defending champion faced Budler, a highly respected veteran and one of the most successful fighters in the history of South African boxing. Budler is a two-division champion. At age 35, the challenger was looking for one more shot at world championship glory.

HIGH-LEVEL STUFF

During the first three rounds, the challenger used his legs to avoid the champion’s vaunted right hand. From an offensive perspective, Budler was able to land with a good amount of jabs and multi-punch combinations. 

However, Teraji is a fighter who knows how to adjust. Starting in round four, he began to make a concerted effort to focus on the body and landed with effective lefts and rights to the gut of the challenger. 

By the middle rounds, Budler began to slow down. He was determined and at times, stood center-ring and went to war with the champion. Nevertheless, the strength and power of Teraji was coming to the surface. 

Round eight saw the Japanese fighter again focus his attack on the body which set up openings to the head. With a minute to go in the ninth, Teraji stunned Budler with a crushing right hand to the face. Sensing a wounded warrior, Teraji poured on the punches until the referee wisely stepped in and waved the fight off. 

Overall, this was a fight with plenty of crisp, quality, back-and-forth action from both men. However, Teraji showed why some in the boxing community feel he’s the best at 108lbs. Afterward, the defending champion said he would like for his next fight to be another unification contest. He and his team hope it will be against the reigning WBO champion, Jonathan Gonzalez.

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About Mike W.1991 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for 3kingsboxing.com.