Kenshiro Teraji scores 9th round stoppage against Hekkie Budler in Tokyo

Kenshiro Teraji collided with Hekkie Budler today for the WBA and WBC light flyweight titles at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan. 

Teraji came in as the unified champion taking on the South African veteran former multiple world champion as the main event live on ESPN+ in America. 

Both fighters had made their everlasting stamp on the 108 pound division going into this one. 

A toe-to-toe battle ensued for the entirety of the unified world title fight which saw Teraji claim a 9th round knockout victory. The Japanese headliner picked up his fourth straight stoppage victory that has included the undefeated Anthony Olascuaga and Hiroto Kyoguchi in his last two fights.

The pair put on a cracking performance throughout in a seesaw style fight until the ending. Budler’s body shots and variation in both movement and such selection had him in an even contest until the stoppage in the 9th.

Budler took advantage of the notoriously slow start of the Japanese champion. Budler could arguably have taken the opening two rounds, but Teraji’s shots were always the more eye-catching. Those eye-catching shots became more prevalent in the rounds after and continued which ultimately resulted in the stoppage.

Teraji received a potentially fight threatening cut in the opening minute of the 5th round. The corner did well to reduce the blood flow, which didn’t appear to cause the champion too many problems going forward. 

Ahead of the stoppage Budler had put in a good round 7 and 8 that saw him opt more for the body over the head, but was varying his selection nonetheless. Teraji in comparison almost completely disregarded body shots for the whole fight. 

The stoppage proved no different. Budler found himself under serious pressure and came under an attack of precise combinations that saw referee Jose Guadalupe Garcia jump in at 2:19 in round 9 with Budler still on his feet and unable to respond to the Japanese attack. 

Teraji’s record improves after 14 world title fights to 22-1 (14 KOs). The Kyoto native will look to fellow champions Sivenathi Nontshinga and Jonathan Gonzalez to unify the division, or could finally move up to flyweight after a career at 108 pounds. 

Budler’s record after 40 professional fights moves to 35-5 (11 KOs). The South African dubbed The Hexecutioner took part in his tenth world title fight over two weight divisions in the Japanese capital.