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Champion Nakatani brimming with confidence in Sept. 18 title defense against Mexico’s Cortes

Sep 09, 2023 20:02 pm

  World Boxing Organization super flyweight champion Junto Nakatani of M.T Boxing Gym is brimming with confidence in his first defense of the title against sixth-ranked challenger Argi Cortes of Mexico on Sept. 18 at Tokyo’s Ariake Arena in the ‘’Prime Video Presents Live Boxing 5’’ event.

  Speaking before a group of reporters at the gym in Kanagawa Prefecture’s Sagamihara, southwest of Tokyo, after the customary public workout on Sept. 9, the undefeated Nakatani said he wants to repeat what he did in this past May in Las Vegas, Nevada as he won the vacant title by demolishing Andrew Moloney of Australia in the 12th and the final round.

  ‘’That was a good KO, and I learned what the right moment is all about. I have been practicing how to throw punches at a good time,’’ Nakatani said, adding he polished his image of throwing punches in a timely way.’’

  The 25-year-old Nakatani spent a month and a half in the United States and returned to Japan on Sept. 4. He mostly sparred with Mexican boxers there.

Nakatani said he resumed training on Sept. 5 and did sparring sessions every other day with Japanese youth light flyweight champion Kanamu Sakama of World Sports Boxing Gym and others. According to Nakatani, he has so far had a total of 260 rounds of sparring.

  Regarding his opponent Cortes, Nakatani said, ‘’He is aggressive and strong-minded. In this connection, the gym’s head Takeshi Murano said, ‘’He (Cortes) is tough and is decisive in his boxing as he returns punches without fail when he has been hit.’’

  Cortes lost a close but unanimous decision to his fellow countryman and World Boxing Council super flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada last September and is therefore regarded as a boxer who is nothing to sneeze at.

  But Nakatani brushed it aside by saying, ‘’I will fight at a long distance, and it is important to have him mentally worn out in order to knock him out. I want to control the fight either at a long or at a close distance to realize a knockout. I will have a fierce heart and will fight sophisticatedly as I want to display a perfect fight.’’

  ‘’I don’t think I can remain at the super flyweight division for a long time. Therefore, I want to have a title unification fight (with the champions of the other sanctioning bodies) said Nakatani, widely regarded as a ‘’next monster,’’ a la WBC and WBO super bantamweight champion Naoya ‘’the Monster’’ Inoue.

  Nakatani has 25 straight wins, including 19 KOs, while Cortes has a 25-3-2 win-loss-draw tally with 10 KOs.

  The title defense of WBC and World Boxing Association light flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji of B.M.B. Boxing Gym against the WBC’s top-ranked Hekkie Budler of South Africa will also be included in the Sept. 18 extravaganza, along with the highly touted eight-round super bantamweight bout between kickboxer-turned Tenshin Nasukawa of Teiken Boxing Gym and Mexican bantamweight champion Luis Guzman.

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