Nakatani stops Acosta, retains WBO fly belt

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Photo: Bob Newman

By Boxing Bob Newman at ringside

Defending WBO flyweight champion Junto Nakatani made his American debut in defense of his title against former WBO light fly champ Angel “Tito” Acosta on Friday night at the AVA Amphitheater at Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Arizona. In a cautious first round, the lanky Nakatani probed with his right jab from the southpaw stance, while Acosta tried to find a way to land anything. A hard left late in the round caused Acosta to stumble back into his own corner and Nakatani to pursue with a flurry. Acosta punched his way out and escaped the round.

In the second, a flurry of punches caused blood to start pouring from Acosta’s nose. After a prolonged visit from the ringside physician, Acosta was allowed to continue, only to get more leather laid on him. As Acosta was backed into Nakatani’s corner, he caught the oncoming champ with a huge right, nearly dropping him! Nakatani recovered quickly and survived the round.

The third saw another visit from the doctor, this time shorter and the action resumed. Nakatani had success with sneaky lead lefts that caught Acosta flush, further damaging his mouth and nose. Moments into the fourth, Acosta’s corner signaled to referee Rocky Burke that their charge had had enough, prompting Burke to wave it off at 0:32.

Mild complaints from Acosta, but Nakatani remains champion at 22-0, 17 KOs, while Acosta goes to 22-3, 21 KOs. Nakatani said his message is that he wants to unify the titles. Americans and fans worldwide would love to see that!


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  • This was a bright spot on the card. The questionable situation with the main fight from the testing to the scorecards was sickening so this was much better along with a couple of the undercard fights.

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