If being up before the sun to catch an intriguing championship boxing match is your cup of tea, there are mere hours to wait.     

On Tuesday (ESPN+, 4 AM EST), the best junior flyweight in the world is riding a four fight knockout streak featuring the two most important victories of his career. Japan’s Kenshiro avenged his lone loss via knockout and followed it with a dominant unification victory. He’s still speculating on the chance to be the first undisputed king at 108 pounds.

Nothing gets in the way of a goal like a hungry contender.

Carlos Canizales has won four in a row and will confront the champion with a little more youth, heavy hands, and aggression. Will it be enough? 

Let’s get into it. 

Stats and Stakes

Kenshiro Teraji

Age: 32

Title: Lineal/TBRB/Ring Magazine World Jr. Flyweight (2022-Present, 2 Defenses); WBC light flyweight (2022-Present, 3 Defenses); WBA light flyweight (2022-Present, 2 Defenses)

Previous Titles: WBC light flyweight (2017-21, 8 Defenses)

Height: 5’5  

Weight: 107 ¼ lbs. 

Stance: Orthodox

Hails from: Uji, Kyoto, Japan

Record: 22-1, 14 KO, 1 KOBY

Record in Major Title Fights: 13-1, 9 KO, 1 KOBY

Last Five Opponents: 71-10 (.877)

Notable Outcomes, TBRB/Ring Rated Foes: Ganigan Lopez MD12, KO2; Pedro Guevara MD12; Milan Melindo TKO7; Tetsuya Hisada UD12; Masamichi Yabuki TKO by 10, KO3; Hiroto Kyoguchi TKO7; Hekkie Budler TKO9   

Additional Results, Current/Former Champions/Titlists Faced: None


Carlos Canizales 

Age: 30

Title: None

Previous Titles: None*

Height: 5’3   

Weight: 107 ½ lbs.

Stance: Orthodox

Hails from: Caracas, Venezuela

Record: 26-1-1, 19 KO, 1 KOBY

Press Rankings: #4 (TBRB, ESPN, BoxRec), #7 (Ring)

Record in Major Title Fights: 0-0-1 (3-1-1, 1 KO, 1 KOBY)

Last Five Opponents: 105-37-4 (.732)

Notable Outcomes, TBRB and/or Ring Rated Foes: Ryoichi Taguchi D12; Sho Kimura UD12; Daniel Matellon Tech. Dec. 8

Additional Current/Former Titlists Faced: Ganigan Lopez KO4

*Canizalez held a WBA sub-title in the division from 2018-21, defending twice. 

The Pick: While both men have been stopped, it’s not a finish either man can really go looking for. Canizales has heavy hands and employs them with a pressure style, working forward with loaded single shots. He has a jab but sometimes forgets it, instead leading with hooks to the head and body. If his physicality forces Kenshiro to stand still and trade in the trenches, Canizales can grind the champion down and have a path to victory.

The champion doesn’t have to fight that way though. Kenshiro is quicker of hand and foot and employs his jab with more consistency and purpose. He also throws the straighter shots more often, giving him the chance to land while Canizales is loading up and creating space to elude the incoming. The more skilled, and more accomplished, fighter is the one with home field advantage. His counters will eventually slow Canizales’ offense down and start to carve him up. The pick is Kenshiro by late stoppage.   

Additional Tuesday Pick

Seigo Akui Dec. Artem Dalakian         

Rold Picks 2024: 2-0

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at roldboxing@hotmail.com