Kenshiro Teraji on the press convention asserting his battle towards Jonathan Gonzalez. (Photograph by Naoki Fukuda)
On Monday at a press convention in Japan, it was formally introduced that Ring/WBA/WBC champion Kenshiro Teraji will face WBO titleholder Jonathan Gonzalez in a junior flyweight unification on the Ariake Enviornment in Tokyo on April 8.
Additionally on the cardboard will probably be Takuma Inoue vs. Liborio Solis for the vacant WBA bantamweight title that was not too long ago vacated by Takuma’s brother Naoya. There may even be an intriguing IBF featherweight eliminator between former two-weight titleholder Kiko Martinez and Japanese nationwide champion Reiya Abe. Energy-punchers Jin Sasaki and Keita Obara will meet at welterweight.
The official essential occasion will see standard former kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa make his skilled debut towards Yuki Yonaha at junior featherweight.
Teraji (20-1, 12 knockouts) gained the Japanese and OPBF titles inside eight fights. Quickly after that, “Marvel Boy” claimed the WBC title in Could 2017, edging Ganigan Lopez (MD 12). The 31-year-old has improved immeasurably since that point, making eight defenses towards the likes of Lopez (KO 2), Milan Melindo (TKO 7), Jonathan Taconing (TKO 4) and Randy Petalcorin (TKO 4).
Nonetheless, over-confidence noticed him return from a COVID an infection too rapidly, and he misplaced his unbeaten document and title to Masamichi Yabuki (TKO 10) in September 2021. To his credit score, Teraji doubled down and confirmed his class and an additional edge we hadn’t seen beforehand by blitzing Yabuki (KO 3) to regain his outdated belt, then emphatically added the Ring and WBA belts by beating Hiroto Kyoguchi (TKO 7). Turnaround earned Teraji The Ring’s Comeback of the Yr award.
Gonzalez (27-3-1, 14 KOs), the Ring-rated No. 1 junior flyweight, was a standout beginner, claiming three nationwide titles in addition to gold on the Central American & Caribbean video games and World Youth championships, turned skilled in 2011 amid excessive expectations in Puerto Rico. After profitable his first 13 fights, he got here unstuck towards hard-charging former world champion Giovani Segura (KO 4). After righting the ship, he was surprisingly overwhelmed by Jobert Alvarez (TKO 6).
The 31-year-old slick southpaw was stopped by Kosei Tanaka when he tried to win the WBO 108-pound title however renewed religion in his huge potential with an upset win over Elwin Soto (SD 12). He has since made two defenses, notably besting the extremely touted Shokichi Iwata (UD 12) on the undercard of Teraji-Kyoguchi final November.
Inoue (17-1, 4 KOs), the Ring-rated No. 10 junior featherweight, will drop again to bantamweight after three fights at 122 kilos. Though Takuma has largely fought in brother Naoya’s shadow, he’s a gifted fighter in his personal proper, profitable OPBF titles at junior bantamweight and bantamweight and the nationwide title at junior featherweight.
The 27-year-old doesn’t possess Naoya’s fight-ending energy however is an efficient boxer, although in his lone world title shot up to now he got here up quick towards then-WBC bantamweight titlist Nordine Oubaali (UD 12) in November 2019. He has rebounded with 4 wins, over Keita Kurihara (TD 9), Shingo Wake (UD 12), Gakuya Furuhashi (UD 12) and Jake Bornea (TKO 8).
Solis (35-6-1, 16 KOs) has been knowledgeable since 2000. The now-40-year-old Venezuelan veteran fought throughout Latin America on his manner up. His large break got here when he claimed the WBA junior bantamweight title by outboxing Kohei Kono (MD 12). In his subsequent battle, he tried to unify with IBF beltholder Daiki Kameda. Though Solis edged issues by 12-round cut up choice, he got here in two kilos chubby and was stripped of his WBA title in addition to his alternative to choose up the IBF belt.
And not using a title, Solis needed to accept going again on the native circuit in Panama, the place he’s based mostly. He unsuccessfully challenged for world titles towards Shinsuke Yamanaka (UD 12), twice towards Jamie McDonnell (UD 12 and ND 3) after which Guillermo Rigondeaux (SD 12). Solis is now on a five-fight win streak.
Martinez (44-11-2, 31 KOs), the Ring-rated No. 8 featherweight, made a reputation for himself on the European circuit, profitable the European junior featherweight title earlier than upsetting then-IBF 122-pound ruler Jhonathan Romero (TKO 6). Two defenses adopted earlier than he misplaced to Carl Frampton (UD 12). After shifting as much as featherweight, Martinez misplaced preliminary world title challenges to Leo Santa Cruz (TKO 5) and Gary Russell Jr. (TKO 5).
The 36-year-old breathed new life into his profession by beautiful IBF beltholder Child Galahad (TKO 6), incomes The Ring’s 2021 Comeback of the Yr. He misplaced the title in his first protection to Josh Warrington (TKO 7). The large-punching Spaniard could also be within the twilight of his profession, however in October he confirmed he’s nonetheless harmful by taking out Jordan Gill (TKO 4) to choose up the European title and place himself for one more world title tilt.
Abe (24-3-1, 10 KOs) has been knowledgeable for a decade and has fought completely in his homeland of Japan.
The 29-year-old southpaw has twice gained the Japanese nationwide title and holds wins over Satoshi Hosono (TD 9), Hinata Maruta (UD 12) and, most not too long ago, Jinki Maeda (MD 12).
Sasaki (14-1-1, 13 KOs) turned skilled in August 2018. Since then, the now-21-year-old has left a path of destruction behind him. Having gained his first 11 fights with just one opponent listening to the ultimate bell, Sasaki’s crew made the daring transfer to leap up at school and face Andy Hiraoka. In addition to lacking weight, which pressured a transfer as much as welterweight, Sasaki was well-beaten and stopped in 11 rounds.
Two fights later, Sasaki drew with unheralded Kotaro Sekine (D 6). Final day trip, the Tokyo resident scored an eye catching win over world-rated Ryota Toyoshima (TKO 1).
Obara (26-4-1, 23 KOs) has gained Japanese titles at junior welterweight and welterweight in addition to the OPBF crown at 140 kilos. The 36-year-old has been discovered wanting when he’s stepped as much as world degree, shedding to then-IBF junior welterweight titlist Eduard Troyanovsky (TKO 2) in 2016.
The now-36-year-old moved as much as welterweight and misplaced an IBF eliminator to Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (UD 12) in 2019. Since returning to the home scene Obara has gained all six fights to arrange this shootout with a fellow puncher and compatriot.
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