Boxing results: Nakatani Dominates Santiago, Claims WBC Bantamweight Title

By Bob Smith - 02/24/2024 - Comments

Undefeated knockout artist Junto Nakatani (27-0, 20 KOs) dethroned WBC bantamweight champion Alexandro Santiago (28-4-5, 14 KOs), stopping him in the sixth round at the Kokugikan in Tokoyo, Japan.

The heavy-handed Nakatani, 26, dropped the champion Santiago twice, resulting in the champion’s training having the contest halted to save their beaten fighter. Referee Lawrence Cole ended the contest at 1:12 of round six.

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Santiago, a volume puncher, didn’t have the power to stand and trade with Nakatani, and that is where things fell apart for the WBC champion. He couldn’t outbox Nakatani, and his efforts at landing his combinations often resulted in him getting the worst of it.

The fight would have been different if Santiago had the power and size to go along with his high-volume punching style.

One-Sided Masterclass

Nakatani dominated the fight with his punching power and accuracy on his shots against the 28-year-old Santiago, who had captured the WBC 118-lb title last July with a 12-round unanimous decision against 41-year-old warrior Nonito Donaire.

As good as Santiago was in that fight against the older Donaire, his talent didn’t translate against the hard-hitting Nakatani, who was on a different level than him and controlled the action from start to finish, dominating the Mexican champion.

The victory for Nakatani makes him a three-division world champion, and he’s accomplished that feat in just four ears, showing his talent.

Nakatini’s Rise Continues

With Nakatani’s power and technical prowess, he could easily move up to 122 and capture a title in that weight class, albeit after undisputed super bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue vacates his four belts.

Inoue is a step too far for Nakatani, but that would still be an interesting fight if the two were to mix it up.

It’s not the end of the world for the dethroned WBC 118-lb champion Santiago. Once the ambitious Nakatani vacates the WBC belt to move up to 122, Santiago can fight for the title, and he’ll have a good chance of re-capturing it, depending on who he goes up against.