Teraji Triumphs in Japan, Morales Unbeaten in California

September 19, 2023
From: Spartacus

In an electric display of boxing mastery, Kenshiro Teraji successfully defended his World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Light Flyweight title for the second time, securing a technical knockout over Hekkie Budler. The high-stakes match unfolded at Ariake Arena in Koto-Ku, where Teraji exhibited both skill and resilience to triumph over the South African contender in the ninth round. This latest victory not only solidified Teraji’s reign as the WBA champion but also saw him retain his World Boxing Council (WBC) title.

From the onset, the tempo of the match was frenetic. Budler, true to form, came out all out to put pressure on Teraji, contributing to a bout that was “frantic with fierce exchanges and good moments for both fighters.” Budler sought to control the pace, but Teraji, known as “The Amazing Boy,” remained unfazed. The champion adapted to the challenger’s strategy, leveraging his punching power to chip away at the visitor’s humanity despite taking punishment in the process. It was a contest of both physical endurance and strategic prowess. Teraji, displaying astute ring awareness, knew how to fight on the ropes and in the end managed to take Budler down, compelling the referee to call off the match in its final moments.

This win advances Teraji’s already impressive record to 22 wins, with a singular loss and 14 knockouts. Conversely, Budler’s record shifted to 35 wins, 5 losses, and 11 knockouts. But the significance of Teraji’s victory goes beyond numbers; it attests to his dominating presence in the light flyweight division since 2017. Teraji, at 31 years old, continues to command this category, having retained his WBC, WBA, and Ring belts at the Ariake Arena.

On the other side of the boxing spectrum, Victor Morales Jr. made headlines with his rigorous defense of the World Boxing Association Inter-Continental Featherweight belt. The match, staged on the eve of Mexican Independence Day at the Commerce Casino in California, pitted Morales against Mexican native Edwin Palomares. “I hoped I showed Oscar and the team tonight that I am a warrior in the ring, and I can push through anything,” declared Morales after winning unanimously with scorecards that read 96-94, 100-90, and 99-91.

Morales entered the ring riding high on a wave of confidence, having scored a spectacular second-round KO over Diego De La Hoya on April 29th. Palomares, however, posed a formidable challenge. Hailing from the Federal District of Mexico, Palomares “spiced up the fight,” landing blows that left Morales with a “deep cut on his left eyelid.” Despite the adversity, Morales maintained strategic clarity, relying on “the effectiveness and clarity of his high-speed punching” to neutralize Palomares’ relentless advances.

This victory propels Morales’ career statistics to 19 wins with 9 quick finishes, one draw, and no defeats. Palomares’ record moved to 18 wins, 5 losses, and 2 draws, with 9 KOs. Morales, at 25, continues to make strides in the featherweight division, while 27-year-old Palomares will be revisiting his strategy in the wake of this defeat.

For boxing aficionados in the United States, the morning bout between Teraji and Budler was worth the early wake-up call. The clash unfolded as a hard-hitting duel, with “both fighters giving it their all,” underscored by an enthusiastic Japanese crowd rallying behind Teraji. Early on, the fighters appeared evenly matched, but Teraji gradually seized control, utilizing his jab and landing body blows that started to wear down Budler. The excitement reached a crescendo in the ninth round when Teraji secured his technical knockout, giving the local fans a victory to celebrate.

Both Kenshiro Teraji and Victor Morales Jr. successfully defended their titles, underscoring the global nature of the sport and its ability to capture the imagination of fans worldwide. Whether it’s Teraji’s dominion over the light flyweight division or Morales’ burgeoning career in the featherweight category, the triumphs of these athletes contribute to the dynamic narrative of contemporary boxing. 

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