Full Report: Nakatani defeats Cortes

Nakatani Cortes02 1

By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda

Unbeaten Japanese southpaw Junto Nakatani (25-0, 19 KOs) , 114.75, made his first defense of the WBO 115-pound belt as he dropped Mexican Argi Cortes (25-4-2, 10 KOs), 114.5, three times–twice in the fifth and once more in the ninth—to score a lopsided decision (119-106 twice, 118-107) over twelve hot frames on Monday in Tokyo, Japan. The referee was Steve Willis (US). The challenger Cortes seemed greatly befuddled by Nakatani’s awkward southpaw style with superior height and reach to be unable to show his retaliation. But the Mexican dominated one and only round in the sixth, when he almost stunned the champ with a very solid right and had him reeling to the ropes. Nakatani had a narrow escape by grabbing the shorter challenger with his long arms.

Since then Nakatani became cautious to keep his distance and utilized long southpaw jabs before he threw solid lefts to the game Mexican. Junto, in round nine, floored Argi again with a combination following solid left uppercuts to the midsection, which might had him considerably dejected for the remainder of the contest.

It might not be as good a performance as Junto had displayed a spectacular one-punch demolition of Andrew Moloney in Las Vegas this May, but he fully utilized his 5’8” southpaw frame to frustrate the gallant Mexican all the way. The jubilant victor said, “I’ll fight anybody to keep this belt.” But people expect he will move up to the bantamweight category in the future.

Promoter: Teiken Promotions.


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