Kenshiro Teraji and Masamichi Yabuki run it back for the WBC junior flyweight title after previously meeting last year.
The Japanese superstars are two of the best junior flyweights in the world and the rematch should be just as exciting as the first meeting.
boxing odds have Teraji favored to redeem himself after getting knocked out in the 10th round, but the champion won’t be easy to get past.
It’s a big week in boxing, which includes Edgar Berlanga vs. Steve Rolls and Sunny Edwards vs. Muhammad Waseem.
Favorite Eager for Rematch
Teraji did a few things wrong in his first meeting with Yabuki, but he plans on righting the wrongs.
The 30-year-old had won his first 17 fights before losing his belt to Yabuki, but his training didn’t go to plan and not making weight was the first sign of trouble in 2021.
“In hindsight, I would say that it was not the best situation for me, including making weight accordingly. I know it is not fair as a professional fighter to make any excuses afterwards as long as I accepted the bout,” Teraji told RingTV.
“In the rematch, I will apply a style that allows me to pick up points more clearly every round. Victory is my number one priority.”
Betting online markets believe Teraji will regain his world title in the rematch. He’s currently paying -175 to win, so that should give him confidence. However, he was close to giving up.
“I had always made up my mind that if I lost even once, I would quit fighting,” he revealed. “I was seriously thinking about retirement after my unexpected loss. [I was] looking for what I would do next in my life, including [attending] a school to become a Sushi chef.”
We’re happy he didn’t quit because he’s an exciting fighter. He deserves to be favorite, but he will need to apply himself better at City Gym on Saturday. Otherwise, Yabuki could do what he did less than six months ago.
Yabuki Hoping History Repeats
Yabuki had a rough start to his career with three losses in his first 10 fights, but he battled back to become world champion.
The gritty 29-year-old might not have the star power of his opponent, but 12 of his 13 wins have come via knockout, so he’s a put-away puncher.
He showed professionalism when knocking out Teraji last September and he was in front on the scorecards, so he didn’t need to end it early.
The sportsbook has Yabuki at +145 to retain his belt, but he could be flying under the radar. He showed that he can’t be messed with in the first meeting, so bettors could find value with his odds.
Credit should go to Yabuki for accepting the immediate rematch. He could have dined out on his success for much longer, so he deserves credit for putting his belt on the line only six months later.
The first meeting won Japanese Fight of the Year honors, so if part II lives up to the hype, bettors can expect fireworks.
We wouldn’t rule out Yabuki, but given how well Teraji has prepared for this fight, he should take the honors with a close decision victory.