With the lower weight classes providing some of the best fights in the sport in recent years, the 4 lightest weights are sometimes difficult to keep up with. With updates on Kenshiro Teraji, Sunny Edwards, Juan Francisco Estrada, and Knockout CP Freshmart, I take you through the world title picture at 115lbs, 112lbs, 108lbs, and 105lbs.
WBO Champion Junto Nakatani will fight former Juan Francisco Estrada opponent Argi Cortez in Tokyo on the 18th September. Nakatani is coming off of a KO of the Year contender against Andrew Moloney on the undercard of Haney vs Lomachenko, and will have a keep busy fight before looking for unifications, or potentially a move to 118lbs next year.
IBF Champion Fernando Martinez looks likely to defend his title in Japan in November or December against former 3 weight world champion, and mandatory challenger Kosei Tanaka. Should Tanaka win this bout it opens up yet more big money fights in Japan for him against Nakatani and potentially Kazuto Ioka.
Finally the WBC, and WBA champions Juan Francisco Estrada, and Kazuto Ioka are rumoured to be facing off in a unification contest on New Year’s Eve in Tokyo.In a huge fight between two Top 10 P4P fighters, the winner will likely go down as one of the best “Little men” the sport has ever seen.
With all 4 belts potentially being held by Japanese champions next year, expect some big fights in the land of the rising sun at 115lbs in 2024.
With the news that IBF and WBO Champions Sunny Edwards and Jesse Rodriguez will be unifying in December this year on the West Coast of America, the flyweight division is finally getting some movement.
WBC Champion Julio Ceasar Martinez due to face his mandatory challenger McWilliams Arroyo next, a date has not yet been put forward by Eddie Reynoso and Clase Y Talento, who won the purse bids recently with a bid of $345,000. The bout could take place on the undercard of Saul Canelo Alvarez vs Jermell Charlo in September.
WBA Champion Artem Dalakian was ordered to face mandatory challenger Seigo Yuri Akui on the 4th of August. The pair must reach an agreement by the 3rd of September to avoid purse bids.
Light Flyweight – Kenshiro Teraji Dominates
Light Flyweight King Kenshiro Teraji will defend his Unified WBA/WBC/Ring Magazine titles against WBC mandatory Hekkie Budler on September 18th (as main event to Nakatani vs Cortes). With a plan to become undisputed champion by this Time next year, Teraji will then look towards unifications, should he come through Budler. However WBA Mandatory Challenger Carlos Canizales could disrupt his plans.
IBF Champion Sivenathi Nontshinga is coming off a dominant points win over Regie Suganob in July, and there are no clear plans for what he is going to do next.
WBO Champion Jonathan Gonzalez, who recently pulled out of a unification with Kenshiro Teraji in April, will now likely defend his title against rival Rene Santiago in Puerto Rico. Although this is not confirmed, a date for the contest will likely be in late September or October.
On the 7th of October, two Minimumweight World titles will be contested in Japan. With WBC Champion Panya Pradabsri take on WBC Interim Champion Yudai Shigeoka, as well as IBF Champion Daniel Valladares defending in a rematch against IBF Interim champion Ginjiro Shigeoka (the younger brother of Yudai). The first bout ended in a no contest in January due to persistent head butting by Valladares.
WBO Champion Oscar Collazo will make the first defence of his title against Garen Diagan on 26th August in Puerto Rico. Coming off a brutal stoppage win over Melvin Jerusalem in May, Collazo will look to stay active as a champion.
The WBA Title situation has been a mess at 105lbs. With Erick Rosa holding the WBA Regular belt for nearly over 2 years. Knockout CP Freshmart is the “Super” Champion, and a bout between the two has been on again and off again countless times over the last 18 months. However it looks likely that we will have a conclusion in October, as Shuan Boxing won the most recent round of purse bids for the bout with a bid of $80,000. The bout will likely take place in the US.