(Sept. 14, 2022) — The light flyweight division takes center stage Tuesday, Nov. 1, as two championship fights with three world titles at stake headline a loaded card from Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
WBC champion Kenshiro Teraji attempts to unify titles against WBA king Hiroto Kyoguchi in the main event. In the co-feature, Puerto Rico’s WBO champion, Jonathan “Bomba” Gonzalez, will defend his strap versus Japanese contender Shokichi Iwata.
Teraji-Kyoguchi, Gonzalez-Iwata, and undercard action will stream live and exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+ starting at 7:30 a.m. ET/4:30 a.m. PT.
“The Amazing Boy” Teraji (19-1, 11 KOs) is an eight-year pro who won the WBC world title in May 2017. He made eight defenses of that crown until a stunning 10th-round knockout defeat to Masamichi Yabuki last September. Less than six months later, Teraji exacted revenge with a third-round knockout over Yabuki to regain his title. Kyoguchi (16-0, 11 KOs) is a two-weight champion who was the IBF 105-pound ruler until he vacated that belt to move up to light flyweight. Since winning the WBA light flyweight crown on New Year’s Eve 2018 against Hekkie Budler, he has made four title defenses. He is coming off June’s eighth-round stoppage over Esteban Bermudez, which ranks among the year’s best title fights.
Gonzalez (26-3-1, 14 KOs) fell short in his first attempt at a world title in 2019 against Kosei Tanaka. He fulfilled his championship destiny last October when he edged Elwin Soto by split decision. Gonzalez defended his WBO title in June with a unanimous decision against Filipino upstart Mark Anthony Barriga. Iwata (9-0, 6 KOs), from Tokyo, won the Japan Boxing Commission, OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific titles en route to earning his first world title shot.
In other action scheduled on the ESPN+ stream:
Junto Nakatani (23-0, 18 KOs) vs. Francisco Rodriguez (36-5-1, 25 KOs), 10 rounds, junior bantamweight — WBO flyweight champion Nakatani tests the junior bantamweight waters against Mexican action star Rodriguez, a former unified 105-pound world champion.
Shuichiro Yoshino (15-0, 11 KOs) vs. Masayoshi Nakatani (20-2, 14 KOs), 12 rounds, WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight Title — Yoshino is coming off a technical decision over former world champion Masayuki Ito. Nakatani rebounded from last year’s knockout loss to Vasiliy Lomachenko with June’s first-round blitzing of Harmonito Dela Torre.