WBA and WBC light-flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji will defend his titles against Hekkie Budler in front of a home crowd at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan on 18th September.
Teraji stopped Hiroto Kyoguchi last November to unify the WBC and WBA belts and the 31-year-old successfully defended his titles with a victory over the previously undefeated Anthony Olascuaga in April.
Budler is a former two-weight world champion, but the South African has fought only three times since 2018 and it will be interesting to see what is left in the 35-year-old’s tank.
Here is everything you need to know ahead of the Tokyo tussle.
|What||Kenshiro Teraji v Hekkie Budler|
|Where||Ariake Arena, Tokyo, Japan|
|When||Monday 18th September 2023|
|Odds||Teraji 1/8, Budler 5/1|
The fight is scheduled to take place on Monday 18th September 2023.
The main card is expected to get underway at 04:00am UK time. The feature event between Teraji and Budler is due to start at 08:00am, but exact timings will depend on the duration of the undercard fights.
The bout will take place at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo. The 12,000-seater venue was a setting for the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics and the arena has also played host to a wide range of concerts and sporting events.
Japanese star Teraji can count on a supportive home crowd in Tokyo and that makes Budler’s task look even more difficult.
The bout will be broadcast live on ESPN in the US and, although no UK broadcaster is yet to pick up the rights to the contest, that may change as we move closer to fight night.
Yes. Teraji’s WBA and WBC light flyweight titles are on the line in what is a big-fight night in Tokyo.
The Amazing Boy lost his WBC strap to Masamichi Yabuki in 2021, but the 31-year-old swiftly regained that title when rematching Yabuki last year.
Budler is a former two-weight world champion having held the IBO and WBA minimumweight titles between 2011 and 2016 and the unified WBA and IBF light-flyweight belt in 2018.
The Amazing Boy has won 21 of his 22 professional contests with 13 of those coming by stoppage.
The sole defeat came at the hands of Yabuki in 2021, but the 31-year-old swiftly avenged that loss.
The Kyoto puncher has good wins over Pedro Guevara and Hiroto Kyoguchi on his card and the 31-year-old successfully defended his unified light-flyweight titles with a victory over Olascuaga in April.
Budler was a top-level fighter at his peak and the South African captured the WBA minimumweight world title with a first-round knockout of Karluis Diaz in 2014.
The Hexecutioner has won 35 of his 39 career contests, with 11 of those coming by stoppage.
Budler won the WBA and IBF light flyweight titles when beating Ryoichi Taguchi in 2018 and he would be a handful on that form. However, the 35-year-old has fought only three times since losing his world title in 2018 and that has to be a concern.
A decent win over Elwin Soto last year suggests that some ability remains and it will be interesting to see how the South African performs in Japan.
Former multi-division kickboxing world champion Tenshin Nasukawa takes on Juan Flores Aceves, while Olascuaga looks to get his career back on track after defeat to Teraji.