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Nakatani to show more punches in Feb. 24 WBC bantamweight title challenge to Santiago

Feb 09, 2024 19:54 pm

  Former two-division world champion Junto Nakatani of M.T Boxing Gym aims at throwing more punches than before as he showed a public workout at the gym in Sagamihara on Feb. 9 in preparation for his challenge to World Boxing Council bantamweight champion Alexandro Santiago of Mexico for the latter’s title on Feb. 24 in Tokyo.

Nakatani shows punching-bag hitting to mass media

  The 26-year-old Nakatani, a former World Boxing Organization flyweight and super flyweight champion, showed a punching-bag hitting at the gym, south of Tokyo.

Nakatani will challenge Santiago at the Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Arena in connection with the event dubbed ‘’Prime Video Presents Live Boxing 7,’’ in which two more world title fights are planned along with an eight-round bantamweight bout.

  It will be the undefeated Nakatani’s first bantamweight bout. Nakatani spent a month in Los Angeles from Jan. 4 and engaged himself in active training centering on sparring by sitting at the feet of U.S. trainer Rudy Hernandez.

  The left-handed Nakatani sometimes had as many as 16 rounds sparring sessions at a time while having 10 rounds sparring with each round lasting five minutes at the advice of Hernandez. He had a total of 140 rounds of sparring during his stay in the U.S.

  ‘’Through these, I think my mental toughness was strengthened. I can now fight both at short and long distances. I need to throw more punches if I were to attain a knockout victory. I think I have my Sunday punch. I hope you will be looking forward to waiting for my fight on Feb. 24,’’ Nakatani said.

  The 28-year-old Santiago is much shorter than the 172-cm Nakatani but shows a barrage of combinations blows based on his strong mobile power. The Nakatani side thinks throwing voluminous punches is important to capture the title.

  ‘’If I win the fight, I want to have a big match at bantamweight,’’ he added.

Nakatani has a record of 26 straight wins, 19 by KO, while Santiago, who is making his first defense of the title he captured last July, has a 28-3-5 win-loss-draw record with 14 KOs.

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