Inoue Stuns Ancajas, Nakatani halts Santiago – Fight Results

02/24/2024 - No comments

Takuma Inoue, also known as the sibling of “Monster” Inoue, and current WBA bantamweight king, kept his reign going strong with a dazzling display of boxing skill in Tokyo. With a record that now reads 19 wins and a single loss, Takuma left fans wide-eyed by dropping Jerwin Ancajas, a former IBF junior bantam champ, like a sack of potatoes with a single punch in the ninth.

This was Takuma showing off his boxing chops – quick hands, swift on his feet, and not shy about getting up close and personal. Ancajas, with his reputation as a fierce left-hander, found himself outpaced and outpunched. Takuma, unfazed by the reputation, took control, dishing out left hooks and body shots that would make anyone reconsider their life choices. The knockout? A thing of beauty – a right uppercut to the gut that had Ancajas taking a knee and staying there. The ref did the ten-count dance, and just like that, Takuma Inoue nailed his first title defense in style. Cue the celebrations with big bro Naoya jumping into the ring, probably thinking, “That’s how we do it in the Inoue household.”

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Junto Nakatani, still untouched with a tally of 27 wins, put on a boxing clinic to snatch the WBC bantamweight title from Alejandro Santiago in a dazzling Tokyo tussle. The former WBO junior bantam champ, who towered over his previous division, took his towering frame to challenge Santiago, fresh off a victory against the seasoned Nonito Donaire.

From the get-go, it was clear this was Nakatani’s show. His advantage in height and reach was too much for Santiago, who struggled to bring anything surprising to the table. By the fourth, the scorecards were all singing Nakatani’s tune, 40-36 across the board. Then came the fifth, and Nakatani shifted gears, unleashing his trump card—a devastating southpaw left straight to Santiago’s mug in the sixth, sending him crashing to the canvas.

Santiago did find his feet again, but it was all for naught. Nakatani, smelling victory, let loose a barrage of punches that sent Santiago down once more. At this point, Santiago’s corner threw in the towel, with referee Laurence Cole calling time on the fight. This victory, hot on the heels of his knockout win over Andrew Moloney, had the Ryogoku Sumo Arena buzzing, proving Nakatani’s punch is as formidable as his stature.

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In a scrap that saw Kosei Tanaka, previously a champ across three divisions, snag the vacant WBO junior bantamweight title, he had to grit his teeth against the relentless Mexican, Christian Bacasegua. Both tipping the scales at 114.75, Tanaka had to work harder than expected to secure a nod from all judges (116-111, 117-110, 119-108) after twelve rounds of toe-to-toe action in Tokyo.

Tanaka, usually known for his nimble footwork, seemed to leave his dancing shoes at home this time, getting stuck into a slugfest instead. Bacasegua, never one to back down, kept barreling in, keen on trading blows at arm’s length, forcing Tanaka to abandon his usual playbook. However, Tanaka landed a series of sharp combos, dropping Bacasegua in the eighth, and from there, he found his rhythm, peppering the tiring Mexican with rapid-fire punches.

This victory marks Tanaka’s fourth time securing a WBO strap, each in a different weight class, showcasing his versatility in the ring.