Kenshiro Teraji and Jonathan Gonzalez Defend Flyweight Crowns Nov. 1 in Japan



Kenshiro Teraji and Jonathan Gonzalez Defend Flyweight Crowns Nov. 1 in Japan

Plenty of you all know already, flyweights provide some of the best bang for your buck if you are a boxing fan who particularly enjoys high volume action. For those who don’t, but are open to testing the assertion, circle Tuesday, Nov. 1 on your calendar. You can check out WBC flyweight champ Kenshiro Teraji versus WBA titlist Hiroto Kyoguchi, and also WBO flyweight leader Jonathan Gonzalez vs. challenger Shokichi Iwata from Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan on ESPN+.

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. Yes, this is breakfast boxing for many of us.

Teraji (19-1, 11 KOs) won the WBC world title in May 2017 and enjoyed eight defenses of that crown until he got stopped in the tenth by Masamichi Yabuki last September. Teraji bit down and got revenge in the rematch almost six months later. Ring labels Teraji No. 1 at junior fly.

Kyoguchi, the RING light fly title holder, owns a 16-0, 11 KOs mark. He excelled at 105, snagging the IBF 105-pound strap, then moved to light flyweight, where he grabbed the WBA 108-pound crown off Hekkie Budler. Check out footage from his June stoppage of Esteban Bermudez, a fan friendly event.

Gonzalez is a Puerto Rican standout possessing a 26-3-1, 14 KOs mark. He tweaked his game after a 2019 loss to Kosei Tanaka, choosing to fight more as a pugilist than sniper. “Bomba” bested Elwin Soto by split decision to gain the WBO flyweight strap, and defended in June with a unanimous decision against Filipino Mark Anthony Barriga. He’s No. 2 at 108 by Ring, for the record.

The junior bantamweight class will be represented, as well. 
 Junto Nakatani (23-0, 18 KOs; rated No. 1 by Ring at flyweight, meets Francisco Rodriguez (36-5-1, 25 KOs) in a 10 rounder. Nakatani seeks to stay unbeaten against Mexican hitter Rodriguez, a former unified 105-pound world champ. 
Shuichiro Yoshino (15-0, 11 KOs) is slated to meet Masayoshi Nakatani (20-2, 14 KOs) in a 12 rounder with the WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight Title on the line. Yoshino comes in off a decision win over ex world champion Masayuki Ito. Nakatani, you might recall him from a stoppage loss to Vasiliy Lomachenko. Nakatani rinsed himself off with a guest round takeout of Harmonito Dela Torre. The Nakatanis are NOT related, by the way.

Interesting side note: Amazon, the retail store murderer, is the platform for the card outside America. That’s not a first, Amazon Prime has shown boxing fare for years now, but it’s not a player in the US.

Founder/editor Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the then-impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist has covered the sport since for ESPN The Magazine,, Bad Left Hook and RING. His journalism career started with NY Newsday in 1999. Michael Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live, since 2017.