Junto Nakatani Sees a Win Against Andrew Moloney Elevating his Career
Junto Nakatani (24-0, 18 KOs) will attempt to become a two-division when he faces Andrew Moloney (25-2, 16 KOs) for the vacant WBO junior bantamweight title on May 20 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Nakatani also relishes the opportunity to fight in front of an American audience.
Formerly the WBO champion at 112 pounds, Nakatani defended the flyweight title twice before vacating the belt in November 2022. The 25-year-old from Japan now battles Moloney, a former WBA Regular junior bantamweight champion, and regarded as one of the better fighters in the division. During an interview with Ring Magazine, Nakatani had this to say about his upcoming opponent:
(Translated from Japanese) “Andrew Moloney is an ex-world champion, and he has had many experiences, so I expect a good fight. I think he is good, an above-average fighter. I [will] find out his areas of weakness in the ring.”
READY TO TAKE HIS CAREER TO THE NEXT LEVEL
Nakatani wants to make a name for himself in the United States. He previously fought in America in September 2021, when he defeated the hard-hitting and former WBO junior flyweight beltholder Angel Acosta by fourth-round stoppage.
Having trained in America since he was a teenager, Nakatani says it’s a privilege to fight in Las Vegas on the undercard of Devin Haney – Vasyl Lomachenko. But despite his humility, Nakatani is extremely focused and confident in his ability. Feeling he’s as good as anyone from 112-118 pounds, the talented lefty thinks that a win over Moloney will lead to bigger fights in the lower-weight divisions down the road and show that he’s an elite fighter.
“If I [am able to become a] two-division world champion, it will be a big step up for the next stage of my career . . . I’d like to be named on the pound-for-pound list.”