Vasiliy Lomachenko is back in vintage form, completely thrashing Masayoshi Nakatani over nine rounds of action before he ultimately forced the stoppage.
Lomachenko said in the pre-fight interview that his shoulder was injured against Teofimo Lopez and planned to demonstrate what he could do with two good arms, and did exactly that tonight — dominating a fighter that Lopez struggled against.
Lomachenko (15-2, 11 KOs) didn’t waste any time ‘downloading data’ tonight, instead coming right after the much taller and longer Nakatani (19-2, 13 KO), probing with his immaculate footwork and getting angles on Nakatani, strafing him with left hands to head over and over again. It was quite surprising to see the much smaller fighter get into punching range and land at will, but that’s exactly what happened tonight.
In the first round there was an awkward clash of heads that split Loma’s forehead, but that only reinforced his focus as he took it to Nakatani from there on, dropping Naktani in the fifth round. Lomachenko would batter Nakatani in the following rounds but in the ninth round things became brutal, with Lomachenko repeatedly pasting Nakatani’s badly swollen right eye with left hands until Nakatani collapsed under the attack. The official stoppage came at 1:48 of Round 9.
Interestingly enough, Teofimo Lopez’s father, Teofimo Lopez Sr, was in attendance for tonight’s fight, and said that they’re now willing to give Lomachenko a rematch, only on the condition that the fight happens immediately after Lopez’s upcoming mandatory title defense against George Kambosos Jr, which was recently postponed. We’ll have to see if that goes anywhere but this Lomachenko certainly made a compelling case for a rematch after what we just witnessed.
Janibek Alimkhanuly TKO-8 Rob Brant
In the opening fight of the main card Janibek Alimkhanuly (10-0, 6 KOs) completely outclassed Rob Brant (26-3, 18 KO) with mostly one hand alone, battering Brant to the head and body with left hand after left hand, whether it be an uppercut, straight, or a hook. Brant just couldn’t get out of the way of the left hand and it was landing with authority early, particularly to the body which set up the head shots in subsequent rounds.
As the rounds wore on Brant was continually taking damage, with trainer Brian McIntyre heavily debating how much punishment was enough before he threw in the towel. Brant was forced to take a knee in the sixth round, and McIntyre threatened to stop the fight after the seventh, but after the eighth it was clear that Brant was just getting badly beaten up and resorting only to trying to defend himself rather than mounting any offensive attack. After a short talk in the corner at the end of eight, Brant’s corner stopped the fight. I had Alimkhanuly completely dominating Brant on the scorecards at the time of stoppage, 80-71.