Nakatani-Santiago Full Report

Nakatani Santiago02 0

By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda

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, from Mexico, 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 severe weight problem due to his exceptional height in his previous division, renounced his 115-pound belt and had an ambitious crack at the world bantam belt against Santiago who had acquired the vacant 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 advantageous 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. The sixth round witnessed Nakatani land it right to the face, and Alejandro badly hit the deck. Though he managed to stand up to 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 to the referee Laurence Cole (US), who promptly 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.

Prior to the halt the scores of the judges—Fernando Barbosa (US), Alan Krebs (US) and Joel Scobie (Canada) —were quite identical: 50-45 in favor of the highly talented Nakatani, still 26.

Promoter: Teiken Promotions.


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  • Santiago is solid, been in with some really good guys, and Nakatani just walked right over him. This was a fantastic performance.

  • Nakatani is a problem in that weight class, a boxer first with no power, lot of the year in 2023 proves that

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