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.