Nakatani and Tanaka win world titles, Takuma Inoue retains with KO: Highlights


Junto Nakatani and Kosei Tanaka won world titles, while Takuma Inoue retained his in an impressive night of performances for the three Japanese stars in Tokyo.

Nakatani (27-0, 20 KO) made an emphatic move to the bantamweight division to win a world title in a third weight class, pretty well dominating and stopping Alexandro Santiago in the sixth round to win the WBC belt.

Nakatani, 26, keeps looking like a truly special fighter as his career rolls along, and he has a strong argument for a top 10 pound-for-pound ranking — for whatever that’s worth — and looks like clearly the world’s top bantamweight immediately upon arriving in the class.

Inoue scored a rare knockout, and it was a doozy, a brutal body shot that put Jerwin Ancajas down for the count in round nine, allowing Inoue to retain his WBA bantamweight title.

Inoue (19-1, 5 KO) and Ancajas (34-4-2, 23 KO) had put on a rugged, back-and-forth, and highly competitive fight to that point, but Inoue just landed a peach of a shot to the liver and closed things out in triumphant fashion.

Tanaka made some history, winning a world title in a fourth weight class by beating Christian “Rocky” Bacasegua for the vacant WBO super flyweight title.

Tanaka (20-1, 11 KO) had won world titles at 105, 108,and 112 prior to this, and had fallen short in his first bid for a world title at 115, but came through today with a clear victory on scores of 116-111, 117-110, and 119-108.

Bacasegua (22-5-2, 9 KO) gave this a strong effort, but was just a crucial bit out of his depth. Tanaka was credited with a knockdown in round eight after Bacasegua’s glove touched the canvas.

Bantamweight Riku Masuda bounced back from his first pro loss with a first round body shot knockout of tough veteran Jonas Sultan, who had never been stopped before. The 26-year-old Masuda is now 4-1 (4 KO), while the 32-year-old Sultan falls to 19-7 (11 KO).

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