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Junto Nakatani Steals the Show on World Title Tripleheader in Japan

Junto Nakatani Steals the Show on World Title Tripleheader in Japan

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Junto Nakatani Steals the Show on World Title Tripleheader in Japan


Junto Nakatani Steals the Show on World Title Tripleheader in Japan

On Saturday, February 24, Junto Nakatani (27-0, 20 KOs) defeated Alexandro Santiago (28-4-5, 14 KOs) at Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan as part of a world title tripleheader. The other two title fights saw Kosei Tanaka (20-1, 11 KOs) create history by defeating Christian Bacasegua Rangel (22-5-2, 9 KOs) to become a four-division world champion. The third title fight saw Takuma Inoue (19-1, 5 KOs) successfully defend his WBA bantamweight title against Jerwin Ancajas (34-4-2, 23 KOs). The card was streamed live on ESPN+ in the U.S.

Junto Nakatani Makes Big Statement on World Title Tripleheader

Takuma Inoue vs. Jerwin Ancajas

Takuma Inoue successfully defended his WBA strap against Jerwin Ancajas, winning by scoring a body blow knockout. The opening two rounds were close with Inoue controlling the distance well. Round three saw the Japanese fighter start to find his range, and put together some nice combinations. Ancajas had his best moment of the fight in round four as he made the round a bit rough, and forced his opponent to trade.

Inoue when boxing on the outside was picking his opponent off at will, showcasing his impressive movement and hand speed. Round seven saw both fight in close proximity, which would have pleased the Philippino fighter, as he could work the body and press. 

Read More: Nakatani Brutally Deals With Andrew Moloney

The younger Inoue brother in round nine, landed a brutal body shot, which rendered Ancajas unable to continue, and Inoue successfully defended his WBA strap in what was an impressive stoppage win.

In the post-fight interview, the champion said:

“I knew coming into tonight that my opponent was going to be the best ever. I was really worried coming into tonight. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t want to bore the audience going to the full rounds. I’m really glad we got these results.”

“My opponent was so skilled, so strong, which gave me so much confidence tonight. I hope I can show everybody a new side of me moving forward.”

Junto Nakatani vs. Alexandro Santiago

Junto Nakatani continued his domination, winning by sixth-round knockout against Alexandro Santiago to capture the WBC bantamweight title. Santiago had become world champion following a unanimous decision victory over Nonito Donaire on the Errol Spence-Terence Crawford undercard. Nakatani established his jab very quickly in the fight, which ensured he controlled the distance and tempo of the contest. Santiago tried to close the distance and got inside in round two, landing two big right hands.

The Inabe-gun-born fighter was in front, winning every round as per the WBC open scoring, and the fight began to slip away from Santiago. During round six, Nakatani landed a big straight left, which dropped the champion. He then pounced and landed a flurry of punches, including two big right hooks, which ended the contest and made him the new WBC bantamweight champion. This was very impressive from Nakatani.

Read More: 5 Underrated Bantamweights to Watch Out for in 2024

Following the stoppage win, the new champion said: “Thank you everyone for your support.” The new champion also thanked Santiago for the opportunity, before saying: “So getting the batamweight WBC belt tonight is an honour.”

He added: “Looking forward to everyone watching me fight at bantamweight from now on.”

Kosei Tanaka vs. Christian Bacasegua

Kosei Tanaka and Christian Bacasegua clashed for the WBO junior bantamweight title. The Japanese fighter started well, using his jab to control the distance. Despite the work rate from “Rocky,” Tanaka only increased his dominance, displaying impressive lateral movement while varying his attacks.

The knockdown in round eight was justified, and Tanaka backed that up with a dominant round nine and saw out the fight in style, boxing brilliantly in round 12, making his opponent miss, picking him off at will. The judge’s scorecards read 116-111, 117-110 and 119-108, all in favour of Tanaka, creating history, becoming only the third Japanese four-division world champion.

Read More: Five Underrated Flyweight Boxers to Watch Out for in 2024

Tanaka spoke after the fight: “Thank you so much for your support.” He continued: “It’s been a long road, and I’m glad to be where I am tonight.”

“Getting my fourth belt is such a great feeling.” The four-division champion finished the interview by asking for a rematch against Kazuto Ioka.

Tripleheader Undercard

Riku Masuda (4-1, 4 KOs) returned to winning ways with an impressive first-round stoppage against Jonas Sultan (19-7, 11 KOs).

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Freelance Writer and Digital Marketer, spending most of his time waiting for the Tyson Fury vs Usyk announcement. Also watches YouTube videos of Lennox Lewis fights on a daily basis.

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