What Could Be Next For Kenshiro Teraji in the Talented Light Flyweight Division?
WBC light flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji (18-0, 10 KOs) could be the best in the world in his division. The 29 year-old from Kyoto, Japan, won the title with a majority decision over Ganigan Lopez in May 2017. He has gone on to successfully defend the title seven times.
Title defense number eight came against countryman and mandatory challenger, Tetsuya Hisada (34-11-2, 20 KOs). The champ knocked the challenger down in round two on the way to an easy unanimous decision win (118-108, twice, and 119-107) at the EDION Arena in Osaka, Japan.
Following this successful mandatory defense, who can he fight next? Light flyweight is low-key, a deep and talented division. Along with Teraji, WBA “super”/Ring Magazine champ Hiroto Kyoguchi, WBA “regular” champion Carlos Canizalez, IBF titleholder Felix Alvarado and WBO champ Elwin Soto are all legit and can really fight.
It was long thought that Teraji would eventually fight a unification against Japanese rival Kyoguchi. However, the WBA “super” champion expressed an interest in a unification against Soto later this year. This coming as both champions have a deal under the same promotional banner; Matchroom Boxing.
That is disappointing to Japanese boxing fans. There’s been a buzz about a Teraji vs Kyoguchi fight for a couple of years. Given the possible money that fight would produce on domestic soil, it will be interesting to see if there is a change of heart and they finally face each other.
THE BEST ROUTE
If the WBC champ is looking for a unification in the short term, the best bet could be a match against Alvarado. The IBF champion is signed to Golden Boy Promotions (GBP). There would be serious negotiations that would have to take place for the fight to happen. However, if the offer is right and the two camps can come together, you could see GBP willing to let their fighter travel to the land of the orient to face Teraji. Alvarado would certainly earn a career-high payday. Furthermore, it would be an intriguing battle between the power and aggression of the IBF champ versus the speed and skill of Teraji.
A third option is a fight against former minimumweight and unified light flyweight champion Hekkie Budler. The 32 year-old from Johannesburg, South Africa has experience fighting in Japan. He’s also ranked 3rd by the WBC at light flyweight. It would not be out of the realm of possibility we could see a Teraji vs Budler fight take place on Japanese soil at some point this year.
Wherever Team Teraji decides to go is worth paying attention to. He’s in his fighting prime, and now is the time to take his career to the next level.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.