Junto Nakatani vs. Andrew Moloney added to Haney – Lomachenko card on May 20th

By Boxing News - 04/10/2023 - Comments

By Brian Webber: Former WBO flyweight champion Junto Nakatani (24-0, 18 KOs) vs. Andrew Moloney (25-2, 16 KOs) has been added to the May 20th card headlined by Devin Haney vs. Vasily Lomachenko at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Nakatani-Moloney is part of the preliminary card along with Ali Walsh, which can be seen on ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+, beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT.

It’s unclear why Nakatani vs. Moloney wasn’t added to the ESPN+ PPV portion of the Haney-Lomachenko card because it’s arguably a better fight than the pay-per-view opener between lightweights Raymond Muratalla and Jeremia Nakathila.

That said, Nakatani is likely to make easy work of Moloney, so perhaps Top Rank’s brass factored that into the equation when they opted to place Nakatani-Moloney on the non-pay-per-view portion of the broadcast.

Also, many casual boxing fans are not familiar with Junto Nakatani yet, because he fights in a lower-weight class that historically doesn’t receive much attention.

Some might confuse Junto with the tall 5’11” lightweight Masayoshi Nakatani, who Vasily Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez have both beaten. Junto is not a different fighter but a far better talent than Masayoshi and a killer puncher with both hands.

Although Junto Nakatani doesn’t possess the one-punch power of the famous Naoya Inoue, he’s still very powerful, throws vicious combinations, and is an excellent body puncher. Junto is arguably more exciting to watch than Naoya because of his combination of punching and the way he goes to the body.

The devasting puncher, Nakatani, is moving up in weight from 112 after vacating his WBO flyweight belt, which is a good thing for Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez because he was able to move in and capture the vacant belt last Saturday night against Cristian Gonzalez.

Had Nakatani stayed at 112, ‘Bam’ Rodriguez’s management likely wouldn’t have taken that fight because the Japanese talent is on another level than the popular Matchroom-promoted San Antonio, Texas native. It would have been interesting to see ‘Bam’ Rodriguez go up against Nakatani, but it’s fair to say that Bam’s management didn’t want any part of that fight. Nakatani would be a nightmare for the 23-year-old Bam.

Junto Nakatani’s recent fights:

  • Francisco Rodriguez Jr  – UD 10
  • Ryota Yamauchi – TKO 8
  • Angel Acosta – TKO 4
  • Giemel Magramo – TKO 8
  • Milan Melindo – TKO 6

The 32-year-old Aussie Moloney is in for a long night going up against the 25-year-old southpaw Junto Nakatani, and he may be heading for his first knockout loss.

Moloney has been beaten twice during his career by Joshua Franco in twelve-round decision losses in 2020 & 2021. Since 2021, Moloney has won his last four fights against lesser opposition.

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