Kenshiro Teraji TKOs Hekkie Budler on a Monday Night in Tokyo


Kenshiro Teraji, the best Japanese boxer not named Naoya Inoue, successfully defended his WBC and WBA 108-pound titles in the Koto City ward of Tokyo tonight (before dawn in parts of the U.S.) with a ninth-round stoppage of South African veteran Hekkie Budler. Although Budler had his moments, Teraji (22-1, 14 KOs) was comfortably ahead on the cards when referee Jose Guadalupe Garcia pulled the plug at the 2:19 mark of round nine with Budler backed against the ropes and Teraji connecting with a barrage of unanswered punches.

Teraji, a second-generation prizefighter in his second reign as a 108-pound champion, is now 13-1 in world title fights. He avenged his lone defeat and did it in grand style with a third round KO of countryman Masamichi Yabuki. The 35-year-old Budler, a former two-division title-holder who has answered the bell for 341 rounds, declined to 35-5.


Junto Nakatani, a two-division title-holder making the first defense of his WBO world super flyweight title, won a lopsided 12-round decision over Mexico City’s Argi Cortes. Nakatani, tall for the weight class, scored three knockdowns with body punches, two coming in round five, en route to winning by scores of 118-107 and 119-106 twice.

A massive favorite in the 18/1 range, Nakatani (26-0, 19 KOs) was coming off a dominant showing against Andrew Moloney in Las Vegas, a bout that ended with Nakatani scoring a brutal, one-punch knockout. Cortes (25-4-2) had lost only one of his previous 25 fights, that a narrow but unanimous decision rendered against him by pound-for-pound list-maker Juan Francsico Estrada. This was his first appearance outside Mexico.

Nakatani appears to be on a collision course with 30-2-1 countryman Kazuto Ioka who holds the WBA version of this title.


In a super flyweight contest slated for eight rounds, Anthony Olascuaga (6-1, 4 KOs) scored a seventh-round stoppage of Giemel Magrano who was on his feet and likely ahead on the cards when the referee halted the contest with three seconds remaining in round seven.

Olascuaga, LA-born and raised, had suffered his lone defeat in this very ring in April, succumbing in nine rounds to Kenshiro Teraji. In that contest, Olascuaga acquitted himself well in defeat considering his inexperience and the fact that he took the bout on 10 days’ notice. Magrano, a 28-year-old Filipino, declines to 28-4.


In a bout that directly preceded the main event, Tenshin Nasukawa pitched a shutout over Mexican import Luis Guzman, winning 80-70 on all three cards after scoring a knockdown in the opening round.

Outside Japan, Nasukawa, now 2-0 as a professional boxer, is best known for his quasi-exhibition with Floyd Mayweather in December of 2019, a match in which he suffered the indignity of being stopped in the opening round. Inside Japan, he is recognized as one of the greatest kickboxers of all time. Guzman, recognized as the bantamweight champion of Mexico, lost for the third time in 13 pro bouts.