Junto Nakatani, a former flyweight champion, is set to challenge Andrew Moloney for the vacant WBO junior bantamweight title on Saturday’s Devin Haney-Vasiliy Lomachenko undercard at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Nakatani (24-0, 18 knockouts), The Ring’s No. 6 rated junior bantamweight, is aware that his Australian opponent (25-2, 16 knockouts), The Ring’s No. 8 rated junior bantamweight, is a tough assignment. However, Nakatani believes Moloney is an “above average” fighter and plans to find his areas of weakness in the ring.
Nakatani is excited to fight on such a big event in the capital of boxing. He has been training in Los Angeles under Rudy Hernandez for the last two months, during which they have worked together for a decade, and wants to give a good performance in front of an American audience.
This fight is also seen as a potential step towards Nakatani’s goal of becoming a two-division world champion. If he wins the WBO junior bantamweight title, he would like to make a title defense and move up to the next weight class. If he can’t demonstrate good performance in the 115-pound division, he will consider moving up. He would also like to be named on the pound-for-pound list.
The Haney vs. Lomachenko event, plus the supporting undercard, will be broadcast on ESPN+ PPV at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT for $59.99. The Moloney-Nakatani and Ali Walsh fights will be broadcast on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT.