In the co-main event of the huge show at the Super Arena in Saitama, we saw WBO Flyweight champion Junto Nakatani (23-0, 17) [中谷 潤人] make his second defense, as he dominated fellow Japanese fighter Ryota Yamauchi (8-2, 7) [山内涼太], and scored an 8th round TKO win over his countryman.
From the opening round it was clear there was a gulf in class between the two men, and Nakatani came close to putting Yamauchi down in the first round, with a number of clean, hurtful, powerful left hands. He genuinely came close to dropping the challenger twice in the first round, as Yamauchi learned the difference between regional level and world class.
Things went from bad to worse for the challenger, who was left with a nose that looked broken and a badly damaged left eye in round 2, as Nakatani used Yamamuchi's face as target practice. It seemed obvious this wasn't going to go the distance, but remarkably Yamauchi was showing he was still there, still determined and still incredibly gritty, despite his head being tagged time and time again. Yamauchi showed no quit despite taking punishment round after round. Unfortunately for Yamauchi he wasn't just being tagged, but also being made to miss, time and time., and time again as Nakatani looked to prove his defense as well as his offensive skills. He also chose to trade on the inside, fighting Yamauchi's fight and beat him on the inside as well as landed everything at will. The right hooks, thje jabs, the left straights and the uppercuts were all flowing from Nakatani, whilst Yamauchi was lucky to land a shot here or there in a bout that was becoming a show case for Nakatani.
In round 8 the toughness of Yamauchi finally broke, as Nakatani put his shots together, poured on the pressure and forced referee, Katsuhiko Nakamura to step in and wave off the action, saving Yamauchi after 2 minutes 20 seconds of the round.
For Yamauchi this loss was horribly one sided. He never looked in the bout, and looked a lot worse than he really is. In all honesty he's a decent contender, but was made to look completely out classed. As for Nakatani it's going to be incredibly hard to find him a worth while challenger at 112lbs. We suspect Seigo Yuri Akui will be wanting to face Nakatani before he leaves the division, but the champion obviously has plans to chase career defining bouts, and not re-run a bout with a domestic foe he beat in 2017.
World Title Results
Whether you like them or not World Titles add prestige to any bout as a result we've included the results of world title bouts in this special section.