Kenshiro Teraji Says Naoya Inoue Inspires Him to Be his Best
Fighters can use a variety of sources to motivate themselves. Sometimes, it can come from their contemporaries. Such is the case for unified junior flyweight champion Kenshiro “The Amazing Boy” Teraji (21-1, 13 KOs), who cites countryman and multi-divisional champion Naoya “Monster” Inoue (25-0, 22 KOs) as someone who keeps him on his toes in his constant pursuit of excellence.
Teraji will defend the unified belts against the two-division world champion and current WBA junior flyweight mandatory contender, Hekkie “The Hexecutioner” Budler (35-4, 11 KOs), on September 18 in Tokyo, Japan. The defending champion is very popular in his home country of Japan. Many pundits rank Teraji as one of the best fighters in the lower-weight divisions.
The 31-year-old sees Inoue as a shining example of an elite fighter. During an interview with news outlet Sporting News, the junior flyweight champion explained why he holds Inoue in such high regard.
“He is simply a great fighter. Every time I see Naoya Inoue fight, it stimulates me. I hope to be as good as Inoue someday.
I don’t know if I will be able to bring the spotlight at light flyweight, but I guess I just have to show my strength every fight. I’ve been told by people my recent fights are enjoyable to watch, so I will try to show what I can do in every fight.”
Inoue is a former undisputed champion at 118. Teraji has a goal of becoming the undisputed champion at 108. The 35-year-old Budler can fight and is coming to win. But Teraji is fueled with a burning desire to retain the unified titles and follow in the footsteps of Monster.