Usually when it comes to these 5 Midweek Facts series we tend to talk about fights who few outside of their homeland remember. Today however we're going to talk about Masayoshi Nakatani (18-1, 12), who made a mark on the US scene when he fought Teofimo Lopez in 2019, and gave Lopez a surprisingly tough test.
Sadly after his loss to Lopez we saw Nakatani announce his retirement over social media, stating that he had planned to retire when he lost. Sadly that retirement to cost him the chance to strike when the iron was hot and build on what was a very hotly contested bout with one of the fastest rising stars in the US.
Despite his retirement he has remained a figure that is spoken about by fans in the west, mostly fans who are confused by his retirement when he was just 30 years old. Sadly we can't explain the decision of Nakatani's but we can bring you some interesting facts regarding Nakatani!
1-He went to the same high school as two future stablemates at the Ioka Gym. They were multi-weight world champion Kazuto Ioka and former Minimumweight champion Ryo Miyazaki
2-As an amateur Nakatani compiled a record of 45-15 (30), meaning he had an impressive 50% stoppage rate in the unpaid ranks.
3-Interestingly the university Nakatani went to had the boxing team disbanded when he was there, and as a result he took up Nippon Kempo, and had very credible success there thanks to his balance, size and physical skills.
4-The only title held by Nakatani during his professional career was the OPBF Lightweight title, which he held from January 2011 to August 2019. During that time he made 11 defenses of the belt, a record for most defenses of the belt during a single reign. In fact only the legendary Flash Elorde, with 13 defenses over his 3 reigns, has more defenses of the title!
5-Rather surprisingly Nakatani's favourite fighter is Bernard Hopkins.
Bonus Fact - Following Nakatani's bout against Teofimo Lopez the Japanese fighter explained there had been some issues with the way he had been treat in the US. He had been put in 2 different hotels, had been messed about in regards to a medical and had suggested that fellow Japanese fighters travelling to the US for a fight took someone who spoke English and always went for a finish due to the judging. He accepted defeat to Lopez, though felt that the scorecards failed to account for the competitive nature of the in ring action.
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).