Lomachenko and Nakatani could finally get their revenge against Teofimo Lopez
Former unified lightweight champion Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko (14-2, 10ko) fighting Masayoshi Nakatani (19-1, 13ko) could have championship implications. Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, during an interview on Barbershop Conversations, once again dropped news of the former unified champion fighting the Japanese fighter. The first time the Legendary promoter mentioned making this fight was earlier this year. However, Arum confirmed the fight will happen along with a date of either the last week in June or July 10.
This is a very intriguing fight for several reasons. Nakatani’s only defeat came at the hands of the current unified lightweight champion “The Takeover” Teofimo Lopez Jr. Furthermore, Lopez struggled and had to dig deep against the much taller Japanese fighter back in July 2019.
Equally important, both fighters are ranked by the other governing sanctioning bodies. It is the WBO ranking that raises the eyebrow. Keep in mind, one of the belts Lopez holds is the WBO title. Hi-Tech is ranked #2, the long, lanky Japanese fighter ranks #5, and George Kambosos Jr ranks #1 with the organization. Kambosos is already set to face the unified champion, which means that the WBO could make the winner the next mandatory challenger.
REVENGE ON THE HORIZON
Nakatani is coming off a huge knockout victory over Felix Verdejo back in December 2020 and has expressed wanting a rematch with The Takeover. Lomachenko would love nothing more than to get his hands back on Lopez since tasting defeat for the second time in his career back in October 2020. Furthermore, he believes the championships should still be in his possession and has been trying to get a rematch to no avail.
Also, Hi-Tech claimed that he was not the same fighter in the Lopez bout due to a shoulder injury. By his account, that problem was compounded by bias judging. If Lomachenko dominates the taller Nakatani with a fully healed shoulder, it could pressure Lopez to entertain the rematch. Both men undoubtedly want to get their revenge on unified champion Lopez. This fight provides the best opportunity that would force a move to be made.
Lopez has made it clear the shame is on Lomachenko for not having a rematch clause in the contract. Not phased by Loma’s account, he is easing on down the road eyeing possible glory in the junior welterweight division.
3kingsboxing will continue to monitor this story and provide updated information.
By: Garrisson Bland