The best punch trackers on the market
4th November 2022
By: Rich Lopez
Boxing got off to a great start for the week with an event that took place on Tuesday at the Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. It was a solid card from top to bottom and it focused on the smaller weight divisions. Luckily for hardcore boxing fans, ESPN+ picked up the event. The event was streamed early in the morning for U.S. viewers but it was well worth the viewing.
The main event was a unification fight between two of the best fighters from Japan in the junior flyweight division. Not only were two world titles at stake but the lineal championship was on the line as well. WBC World Junior Flyweight Champion Kenshiro “The Amazing Boy” Teraji (20-1, 12 KO’s) retained his title but also captured the WBA title and the Ring Magazine title with a seventh round TKO over Hiroto Kyoguchi (16-1, 11 KO’s). This was an anticipated showdown for Japanese boxing but for boxing period. These two fighters delivered as expected. The fight was very fast paced and provided lots of action. Teraji was mostly in control of the fight. Teraji was the quicker of the two fighters as he was catching Kyoguchi with right hands to head. Kyoguchi kept a good guard up and landed some good body shots on Teraji, however Teraji was the busier fighter.
Round five is where things took a turn. Teraji dropped Kyoguchi with a right hand. Kyoguchi got up and Teraji threw a barrage of punches trying to finish his opponent. Kyoguchi then decided to fight back and he landed his own barrage of punches that stunned Teraji towards the end of the round. Both fighters took round six off to regain their energy back. In round seven, Teraji got back to work and dropped Kyoguchi with a right hand once again. This time with Kyoguchi slouched on the ropes, the referee stopped the fight. The time of the stoppage was 2:36 of the seventh round. Even though Teraji was in control of the fight, Kyoguchi fought hard and made the fight exciting.
This was a great performance from Teraji and now he has the claim as the best junior flyweight in the world. Credit to both fighters for risking it all in the ring to see who the best is. In the post-fight interview, Teraji wants to add to his legacy and unify more belts. He is now aiming at the WBO title currently held by Jonathan Gonzalez who won on the co-main event.
In the co-feature also in the junior flyweight division, WBO World Junior Flyweight Champion Jonathan “Bomba” Gonzalez (27-3-1, 14 KO’s) of Caguas, Puerto Rico scored a unanimous decision over Shokichi Iwata (9-1, 6 KO’s). This would be Gonzalez’s second defense of the title. Iwata put a lot of pressure in the beginning of the fight. Gonzalez was moving well and Iwata could not cut off the ring. Iwata was so aggressive that he came in with his head and hurt Gonzalez early on with head butts. Iwata was having success with landing good body shots on Gonzalez. In the mid rounds, the fight shifted and it was all Gonzalez. In rounds six and seven, Gonzalez switched it up and he put pressure on Iwata and was very effective. To confuse Iwata more, Gonzalez went back to moving around and used angles on Iwata for the remaining of the fight. Only in round nine, Iwata had a good round by landing body shots on Gonzalez but that was about it. Gonzalez consistently landed his straight left hand and made Iwata miss punches. At the end, two judges scored the fight 116-112 and one judge scored it 117-111.
This was a good fight from both fighters. Iwata came up short in the fight as he had less experience than Gonzalez. I’m sure we will see Iwata in another big fight later on. For Gonzalez, he has been having a great run. In the post-fight interview, he wants to unify with Kenshiro Teraji and have the fight in Japan. As both Gonzalez and Teraji want to fight each other expect another unification fight in the future.
Also on the undercard, former flyweight champion Junto Nakatani (24-0, 18 KO’s) of Japan, was successful in his super flyweight debut by earning a hard fought unanimous decision over Francisco Rodriguez Jr (36-6-1, 25 KO’s) of Mexico. This was probably the best fight on the card in terms of action. Nakatani picked a dangerous opponent as Rodriguez is a former Minimumweight Champion and has fought the best fighters in the world. Nakatani landed the cleaner and more effective punches in the fight. However, Rodriguez was taking his punches and he landed good body punches on Nakatani. It was a close fight but one fight where it seemed that Nakatani did enough to win the fight. Nakatani won the fight by unanimous decision, but all three judges had the fight one-sided. The scores were 98-91, 97-92 and 99-90. I think a fairer score would be 96-94 in favor of Nakatani. Poor scoring from the judges and more credit should have been given to Rodriguez. Nakatani gets his first win at super flyweight and makes for interesting fights in the future in a deep super flyweight division.
In a lightweight contest, Shuichiro Yoshino (16-0, 12 KO’s) of Tokyo, Japan scored a sixth round KO over Masayoshi Nakatani (20-3, 14 KO’s) of Tokyo, Japan. This was also an entertaining fight with both fighters throwing a lot of punches. For the first four rounds of the fight, Nakatani was leading. He was landing his jabs and catching Yoshino with good punches. However, Yoshino kept the pressure and it paid off. In the fifth round, Yoshino caught Nakatani with a hard right hand and dropped him. Nakatani got up and was able to finish the round. In round six, Nakatani visibly hurt decided to let it hang out and brawled with Yoshino. Yoshino then landed a barrage of right and left hooks that made Nakatani take a knee. Nakatani got up once again but the referee stopped the fight at 1:14 of the sixth round. This was a good win for Yoshino who is starting the make the climb up the lightweight division.
By Rich Lopez