By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Unbeaten Japanese southpaw prospect, formerly seven-time amateur national champ and OPBF#8 featherweight Mikito Nakano (5-0, 4 KOs), 129, came off the canvas in round three, and fought back hard to earn a unanimous verdict (all 78-73) over Ruito Saeki (7-4-1, 1 KO), 128.75, over eight heats on Saturday in Tokyo, Japan.
Nakano, having belonged in the same academic year with ex-world champs Kosei Tanaka and Takuma Inoue, turned professional later than them after his graduation of Tokyo Agricultural University. His knockout streak stopped with Saeki’s durability, but Nakano showed his power punching in retaliating with his solid southpaw combinations. He looks promising if he improves his defensive ability.
Ex-national welterweight titlist, hard-hitting southpaw Yuki Nagano (18-3, 14 KOs), 146.25, needed just 2:32 of the opening session to halt overmatched Masafumi Ando (6-11-2, 3 KOs), 146.25, in a scheduled eight. Having been dethroned by world-rated Keita Obara via seventh round stoppage last February, Nagano had to wait for his next bout until December due to the nationwide coronavirus pandemic. His southpaw right hook was a haymaker that sank the loser.
Promoter: Yokohama Hikari Promotions.
Attendance: 460 (with the JBC’s regulation at the Korakuen Hall).