WBO Champ Junto Nakatani Overwhelms Ryota Yamauchi In Eight!

Nakatani Puts on a One-Man Show Against Yamauchi

Junto Nakatani poses at weigh-in for bout with Ryota Yamauchi
Junto Nakatani poses at weigh-in for bout with Ryota Yamauchi

Junto Nakatani Continues Title Reign with Dominant Win Over Ryota Yamauchi

On the undercard of Gennady Golovkin vs Ryota Murata, Junto Nakatani (23-0, 18 KOs) made the second defense of the WBO flyweight title against countryman Ryota Yamauchi (8-2, 7 KOs). There’s been a buzz about Nakatani going back to his amateur days when he was a national amateur champion. As a pro, the 24-year-old has sliced and diced up the competition.

He captured the then-vacant WBO belt with an eighth-round KO over Giemel Magramo in November of 2020. What was thought to be a 50/50 fight heading in turned out to be easy work for Nakatani as he handled Magramo with surprising ease. Defense number one came against the hard-hitting former WBO 108 pound champ Angel Acosta. Making his United States debut, Nakatani was impressive as he outclassed and beat up Acosta en route to a fourth-round TKO victory.

Here he faced a Yamauchi who was no slouch. Ranked second by the WBO at 112 pounds, the 27-year-old is in his physical prime and has legit pop in both hands. Viewed as the underdog by local pundits, he had upset on his mind.


A southpaw, the champ got off to a terrific start. He used that right jab to set up his powerful straight left. A series of those left hands buckled Yamauchi at the end of the first round. A minute into round two, Yamauchi was again wobbled from a Nakatani left hand. By the end of the round, the challenger’s face showed significant swelling and he looked to have suffered a broken nose.

Yamauchi began to fight with more urgency. However, this only left him open to receiving more punishment. Nakatani is multi-faceted. On the outside, he was able to land with the jab, straight left, and right uppercuts. Even on the inside, the champ was getting the better of it, all while staying defensively responsible.


The middle rounds saw Nakatani continue to control the action. Yamauchi was taking the punches better, but he was getting beat up. Then the talented southpaw took it up to the next level. In the eighth, he poured it in. A series of shots once again buckled Yamauchi. Nakatani went into attack mode. With forty-one seconds to go in the round, the ref had seen enough and called a halt to the contest.

It will be interesting to see what Nakatani does next. It seems he could reign as the flyweight champ for as long as he pleases. However, he has eyes on winning a world title at 115, 118, and beyond. A possibility is him moving up to junior bantamweight and facing either Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez or countryman and WBO 115 pound champ Kazuto Ioka.

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By: Michael Wilson Jr.

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About Mike W.1963 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for 3kingsboxing.com.