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Junto Nakatani officially vacates flyweight title, WBO orders Jesse Rodriguez vs Cristian Gonzalez

Junto Nakatani made two successful defenses of the belt

Junto Nakatani v Ryota Yamauchi - WBO Flyweight Title Bout Photo by Toru Hanai/Getty Images
Patrick Stumberg is a freelance writer for SB Nation, first joining the network in 2011 before linking up with Bad Left Hook in 2015.

We’ve already got an update on last night’s news that Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez would campaign at flyweight going forward. Jake Donovan brings word that WBO champion Junto Nakatani has vacated his 112-pound belt ahead of his upcoming super flyweight debut against Francisco Rodriguez Jr, and the sanctioning body has now ordered Rodriguez to face Cristian Gonzalez for the belt.

Nakatani (23-0, 18 KO) had a solid run at flyweight, knocking out Giemel Magramo for the belt and subsequently stopping Angel Acosta and Ryota Yamauchi in his two defenses. Though it’s sad that we didn’t get to see him lock horns with his fellow champions, it’s not terribly surprising; he’s 24 years old and 5’7”, so it was inevitable that he’d move up once he filled out a bit.

Should he get past “Chihuas” Rodriguez, which is much easier said than done, he’ll likely be installed as the mandatory challenger for the winner of Kazuto Ioka vs Joshua Franco in December. What a fight that would be.

Gonzalez (15-1, 5 KO), 23, has spent the entirety of his career in his native Mexico. His lone loss came by split decision to the now-world-ranked Angel Ayala Lardizabal in 2019 and his biggest win to date was over what’s left of Saul Juarez last year. He’s yet to prove his chops at the highest level, but he should at least give “Bam” a fight.

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