Nakatani halts Yamauchi, keeps WBO 112lb belt


By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda

Unbeaten Japanese southpaw Junto Nakatani (23-0, 18 KOs), 111.75, impressively kept his WBO flyweight belt as he pummeled compatriot WBO#2 Ryota Yamauchi (8-2, 7 KOs), 112, into submission at 2:20 of the eighth round on Saturday in Saitama, Japan. Nakatani, unusually tall as a flyweight standing 5’7”, fully utilized his advantageous height and reach, lopsidedly battered the shorter challenger at will and finally halted him with an unanswered combination midway in the fatal eighth. The 24-year-old Junto, making his second defense, showed his improvement in fighting in the close quarter, but may outgrow this 112-pound category soon because of his reported difficulty to make weight.

The officials were all Japanese, who tallies identically: 70-63 for the champ. The referee was Katsuhiko Nakamura, Japan.

The victor Junto jubilantly said, “The forthcoming 115-pound division is full of talents and name champions. I’m looking forward to facing them so that I’ll climb up the pound-for-pound ladder in the future.”

Promoter: Teiken Promotions.


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  • I knew 112 would be really difficult for him to make at his size. There’re some excellent fights for Nakatani at 115. He’s WBO champion, it’s likely he’ll be the next mandatory after Nietes. Get a couple of solid fights at the weight (maybe even against Tanaka???) and then go after Ioka or whoever is champion, which would be an incredible fight. I think this guy is the next great Japanese fighter after Inoue and Ioka.

  • Nakatani did a great job! His length/reach will serve him well. He should go pretty far. I didn’t know that he came to US at age 14 to train-instead of going to H.S. He’s been developing pro skills for a while-I like his combos and ring skill.

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