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WBC/WBA light flyweight champ Teraji barely decisions Canizales, retains titles in Osaka

Jan 24, 2024 14:44 pm

  World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association light flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji of B.M.B. Boxing Gym retained his titles with a majority decision over the WBA’s top-ranked Carlos Canizales of Venezuela in a hard-fought battle at EDION Arena Osaka on Jan. 23.

Teraji (R) has another fierce battle

  It was the 32-year-old Teraji’s fourth successful defense of the WBC title and his third of the WBA crown

  After the grueling 12-round fight as the main event of the evening dubbed ‘’Prime Video Presents Live Boxing 6,’’ two of the three judges scored the fight 114-112 in favor of Teraji while the third judge saw it even at 113-113.

  They got off to a quick start as the 30-year-old Canizales, ranked second in the WBC rankings and a former WBA light flyweight kingpin, connected with straight rights to the head and appeared to have taken the round.

  In the second round, however, Teraji’s right hook to the temple over Canizales’ left hook sent the Venezuelan fighter tottering down to the canvas. Canizales struggled to his feet and managed to survive the round.

  Near the end of the third round, Canizales’ right-hand counter dropped Teraji near the ropes for a mandatory eight count. Canizales came out strong toward the end of each round, and at the end of the fourth round, two judges had Canizales ahead by two points while the remaining judge had it dead even.

  Both exchanged fierce blows in the middle of the fight with Canizales throwing combination punches by putting Teraji against the ropes in the seventh round, and Teraji landing a sizzling left hook to the body in the same round, which apparently sapped the strength of Canizales.

  At the end of the eighth round, while one judge had it even, the remaining two saw Teraji ahead by two points, respectively.

  After the closely fought ninth and 10th rounds, Teraji began to use his footwork more in the 11th round in an obvious attempt to avoid an exchange of punches at close quarters. Teraji did almost the same in the 12th and final round.

Teraji’s post-fight face looks fairly puffed up

  After the fight, Teraji said with a puffed-up face, ‘’Canizales was such a strong boxer that I had to cope with that with all my might. I used my footwork to avoid fighting at close quarters just like in my old days. I feel chagrined because I could not do my kind of boxing. But I am relieved to retain the titles. It was a kind of fight that elevated my ability.’’

  With the victory, Teraji improved his record to 23 wins, including 14 knockouts, against a loss. For his part, Canizales fell to a 26-2-1 win-loss draw tally with 19 KOs.

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