Junto Nakatani announced himself on the world stage with a brutal twelfth round knockout win over Andrew Moloney to claim the vacant WBO super flyweight world title on the Devin Haney Vs Vasyl Lomachenko undercard in Las Vegas four months ago.
“I was so happy to get that win.” Nakatani said in an exclusive interview for ProBox TV from the WBO congress in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. “It will be one of the reels that will be played constantly throughout my career. I’m hoping it will bring out my popularity more. I came up in weight to have that fight, but I still found it a challenge to make the weight even though I moved up.”
Nakatani (26-0, 19 KOs) claimed the vacant WBO flyweight world title against Giemel Magramo in late 2020, going on to have a successful American debut when facing Angel Acosta, scoring a fourth round stoppage ten months later in Arizona. He has since joined the likes of Kenshiro Teraji and pound-4-pound star Naoya Inoue in continuing to grace American network ESPN to the joy of western boxing fans.
“Starting with Inoue, yes, Japanese boxers are getting a lot of recognition at the moment.” Nakatani explained. “Along that line, I also want to give great performances when I’m in America or on TV. I really enjoy fighting in America, I like to look good and give good performances in the United States so that I can keep going and fight there more often.”
The 25 year old southpaw made a successful first defense of his super flyweight world title in his native Japan one month ago with another dominating performance against Argi Cortes to continue his impressive form on western TV screens.
He joins a competitive division where the best have fought the best in recent years. The legendary Roman Gonzalez lingers with no world title after defeat to Juan Francisco Estrada in December, who claimed the WBC belt. Countryman and WBA champion Kazuto Ioka joins IBF champion Fernando Martinez and former pound-4-pound star Wisaksil Wangek in the red hot weight class.
“I would like to fight Estrada out of all the champions, yes Estrada is who I want next.” Nakatani said pouncing on my question of most of his most desired bout at 115 pounds. “Can we make it happen? It has a lot to do with timing, but that is the one fight I would like to make happen the most. We will see what is next for me soon but it always comes down to timing.”