By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Elongated lightweight, former world challenger Masayoshi Nakatani (20-2, 14 KOs), 136.75, made short work of Filipino Harmonito Dela Torre (22-4, 14 KOs), 135.75, dropping him twice to score a quick knockout at 1:16 of the opening round on Monday in Tokyo, Japan. The six-footer Nakatani, 33, once had an ambitious shot at Teofimo Lopez and showed a gallant performance despite his unanimous decision loss in Maryland in 2019.
He stunned the US crowd when he upset prohibitive favorite Felix Verdejo via ninth round come-from-behind TKO victory in Las Vegas in 2020. Masayoshi then tasted a bitter defeat at the hand of versatile and valiant Vasyl Lomachenko there in June of the previous year. Nakatani decked the Filipino with a left-right combination, and sank him again with a vicious Inoue-like left uppercut to the side-belly for the count. We now have good 135-pounders here including undefeated regional champ Shuichiro Yoshino, also unbeaten Hironori Mishiro and ex-WBO titlist Masaharu Ito. Their confrontations will be greatly anticipated soon.
Promoter: Teiken Promotions.