Nakatani halts Santiago, wins WBC 118lb belt

By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda (to come soon)

Unbeaten two-division champ Junto Nakatani (27-0, 20 KOs), 117.5, very impressively captured the WBC bantamweight belt as he dropped defending titlist Alejandro Santiago (28-5-5, 14 KOs), 117.75, twice and scored a spectacular TKO victory at 1:12 of the sixth round on Saturday in Tokyo, Japan.

Former WBO junior bantam ruler Junto had a weight problem due to his exceptional height in his previous division, and then had an ambitious crack at the world bantam belt against Santiago who had acquired the WBC title by beating veteran ex-champ Nonito Donaire last July.

But it was Nakatani’s night since Santiago couldn’t show anything out of his arsenal before the trick happened. Utilizing his height and reach, the tall southpaw handled the much shorter champ from the outset. After the fourth, the open scoring system indicated all 40-36 in his favor. Junto began to accelerate his attack from the fifth, and exploded his secret weapon—a lethal southpaw straight left. He landed it right to the face in round six, and Alejandro badly hit the deck. Though he managed to stand up and resume fighting, he had no power left to respond to the challenger’s attack. Nakatani again exploded his solid combinations to floor him again.

The champ’s cornerman Romuro Quirarte asked for a stoppage from the apron to the referee Laurence Cole, who then declared a halt. Following his splendid stoppage of Andrew Moloney last May, Junto again demonstrated his power punching to impress the crowd at Ryogoku Sumo Arena.

Promoter: Teiken Promotions.

Takuma Inoue sinks Ancajas, keeps WBA 118lb belt
Tanaka defeats Bacasegua, wins his fourth WBO belt

Top Boxing News

We have a few rules to make our comment section more enjoyable for everyone.
1. Keep comments related to boxing.
2. Be respectful, polite and keep it clean.
3. Personal attacks will not be tolerated.
Offending posts will be removed.
Repeat offenders will be put on moderation.
  • Nakatani is so much fun to watch and one of my favorite fighters today. That straight left hand might be the best in the sport right now. On the first knockdown, I don’t think Santiago saw it at all.

  • >