Asian Boxing has the latest on WBO flyweight champion Junto Nakatani, who claimed the belt last November with an eight-round mauling of Giemel Magramo. His team have reportedly been trying to put together an inaugural defense against mandatory challenger Angel Acosta, and though COVID and international travel issues have given them grief, the bout is tentatively planned for “late May or early June.”
Back in 2017, Puerto Rico’s Acosta (22-2, 21 KO) fell to Kosei Tanaka in his first bid for light flyweight gold, only to claim the belt one fight later with a knockout of Juan Alejo when Tanaka moved to 112 pounds. He went on to make three successful defenses, including a KO of former champion Ganigan Lopez, before suffering a controversial stoppage loss to Elwin Soto.
The loss prompted a move up in weight, and he’s since stopped Raymond Tabugon and taken a decision over Gilberto Mendoza in a stay-busy super flyweight bout.
Nakatani (21-0, 16 KO) definitely looks like the goods at 23 years old, but Acosta’s one of the stiffest challenges at the weight outside of his fellow champions, so this is nobody’s idea of a victory lap. Let’s hope they manage to put this one together; odds are it’ll be fun as hell.