Okuda wins WBO female superflyweight title with technical decision over Yoshida
Dec 14, 2020 10:57 am
Dec 13, 2020 19:40 pm
Former Oriental Pacific Boxing Federation lightweight champion Masayoshi Nakatani of Teiken Boxing Gym, surviving two knockdowns earlier in the fight, stopped fifth-ranked International Boxing Federation lightweight Felix Verdejo of Puerto Rico in the ninth round to win the WBO Inter-Continental lightweight title at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada on Dec. 12 (Dec. 13 Japan time).
The dramatic come-from-behind technical knockout came 1 minute and 45 seconds into the round of the scheduled 10-rounder when the 31-year-old Nakatani sent the Puerto Rican to the canvas hard with a devastating overhand right. The referee immediately stopped the fight.
Nakatani, ranked 14th in the division by the WBO, got off to a bad start as he was decked in the first round with Verdejo’s strong straight right to the head, Nakatani’s first knockdown in his nearly 10-year pro career. Nakatani got up soon for a mandatory eight count and managed to survive the round. But he was dropped to his knee due to Verdejo’s short counter right in the fourth round.
The taller Nakatani, aware that he was clearly behind points midway through the fight, began to utilize his longer reach advantage while landing strong rights to the body and then to head. Verdejo apparently looked tired as he clinched a lot.
After damaging Verdejo chiefly with strong rights in the eighth, Nakatani charged forward in the ninth round and landed a sharp left jab to the head, which caused Verdejo to fall down forward after the latter was sent strongly to the ropes.
Although Verdejo managed to beat the referee’s count, it was apparent that he was severely damaged and tired. When the fight was resumed, Nakatani landed a looping right to the head, sending the Puerto Rican to the canvas with the referee calling off the fight without bothering to count.
After the fight, Nakatani said, ‘’The reason I was able to fight back despite suffering knockdowns earlier in the fight was I badly wanted to fight again (‘’unified’’) lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez (U.S.).
Today, I worked on my foe’s body first and then aimed at his head. If I can fight Lopez again, I want to do the kind of fight like that of today.’’ Nakatani lost to Lopez in July last year via a lopsided unanimous decision.
With the victory, Nakatani improved his record to 19 wins, including 13 KOs, against a loss. Verdejo, also ranked 12th by the WBO, fell to 27 wins, 17 by KO, against two losses. Photo / TeikenPromotion