Nakatani to face mandatory challenger Astrolabio on July 20


Viva Promotions announced today that WBC bantamweight champion Junto Nakatani will meet mandatory challenger Vincent Astrolabio on July 20th at Tokyo’s Ariake Arena.

Nakatani (27-0, 20 KO) conquered his third weight class this past February by torching the tough-as-nails Alexandro Santiago, cementing his place as a pound-for-pound fixture at just 26 years of age. Japan’s bantamweight quadrumvirate of Nakatani, Takuma Inoue, Yoshiki Takei, and Ryosuke Nishida makes for some tantalizing unification matches, but first he’ll have to do his duty as champion.

Astrolabio (19-4, 14 KO), seemingly fried after a 2-3 slump, instantly turned his career around with a 2022 upset of Guillermo Rigondeaux. He then parlayed that victory into a Showtime feature against Nikolai Potapov and made the most of it by stopping Potapov in six, setting up a vacant WBO title shot against Jason Moloney.

Though he struggled with Moloney’s boxing skills en route to a majority decision loss, the WBC threw him into another eliminator, where he smashed Nawaphon Kaikanha in hostile territory.

Astrolabio looks outclassed here, but he does pack a wallop and Nakatani isn’t afraid to mix it up. We’ll keep you posted as the card comes together.

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