Kenshiro Teraji clung onto his WBA, and WBC crowns with a skin-of-his-teeth majority decision triumph against seasoned fighter Carlos Canizales on Tuesday, in Osaka’s EDION Arena, Japan.
It was a proper barnburner of a scrap, with both junior flyweights tasting the canvas. Teraji (23-1, 14 KOs), snatched victory with tallies of 114-112 twice and a level 113-113. He floored Canizales in the second round. Canizales (26-2-1, 19 KOs) dished it back in the third, sending Teraji sprawling with a cracking right.
Come the fourth, the Ring king and fourth-ranked contender really let the leather fly in a fiery exchange. Canizalez, nifty on his feet, circled Teraji, peppering him with a tasty mix of body and head shots. Teraji’s bread and butter were his thumping right and sharp jab.
As the fray stayed heated in rounds five, six, and seven, Teraji often let Canizales pinch the rounds with blistering barrages at the bell. A left hook at the end of the sixth looked to have wobbled the Kyoto lad. After a bruising seventh round exchange, Teraji’s corner was begging him to rely more on his jab and footwork over his hefty right and bulldozer tactics.
“He was a right tough nut,” Teraji admitted in his post-fight presser. “I had to switch up my game plan in the fight’s second half, trying to keep him at bay.”
Teraji switched to a more elusive, hit-and-move style, outmaneuvering Canizales in the later rounds. Still, the 30-year-old Venezuelan managed to draw Teraji into heated scraps in the dying minutes of rounds nine and ten. Teraji ramped up his footwork in the eleventh and basically played keep-away in the last round, but his cautious approach paid off on the judges’ cards.