Junto Nakatani vs Andrew Moloney Preview May 20th, 2023
Former unbeaten WBO Flyweight Champion Junto Nakatani of Japan will be stepping up in weight this Saturday, May 20th as he takes on Andrew Moloney of Australia for the vacant WBO Super Flyweight Title. The bout will be held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada and can be seen live in America on ESPN pay-per-view and in the UK on Sky Sports Action on the undercard of the Devin Haney vs Vasyl Lomachenko clash. Nakatani last fought November when he beat Francisco Rodriguez Jr by a 10-round unanimous decision. Moloney last saw action in October when he beat Norbelto Jiminez by 10-round unanimous decision for the vacant WBO International Super Flyweight Crown.
Nakatani vs Moloney Betting Odds
- Andrew Moloney +260
- Junto Nakatani -350
The 25-year-old Nakatani is a southpaw who already boasts a perfect record of 24-0 with 18 Ko’s. He’s boxed 106 rounds since making his pro debut in 2015 and won the vacant Japanese Flyweight title in 2019 when he stopped Naoki Mochizuki in the ninth round. The former champion has displayed excellent power up until now with a current knockout ratio of 75 per cent and had stopped six opponents in a row before going the distance with Rodriguez in his last contest.
Nakatani stands just over 5-feet-7-inches tall with a 67-inch reach. He stopped former world champion Milan Melindo of the Philippines in the sixth round in October, 2019 and then won the the vacant WBO Flyweight Title in November, 2020 with an eighth-round stoppage over Giemel Magramo. He stopped Angel Acosta in the fourth round in his first defence and then halted Ryota Yamauchi in eight rounds before moving up in weight against Rodriguez last year.
The 32-year-old Moloney enters the ring with a mark of 25-2 with 16 Ko’s and has boxed 174 rounds since making his pro debut in 2014. His two losses were both against Joshua Franco for the WBA Super Flyweight Title. Franco won their first meeting by close unanimous decision in 2020 and the first rematch saw Franco retain the title after the fight was ruled a no-decision in the second round when the champion claimed he couldn’t continue after suffering a phantom head butt.
Another rematch was held in August, 2021 with Franco once again winning via a close unanimous decision. Moloney has pretty good power with a current knockout ratio of 57.1 per cent and had won four straight fights by stoppage until running into Franco the first time. Since losing the rematch he’s beaten Froilan Saludar by 10-round unanimous decision, stopped Gilberto Mendoza in the eighth round, stopped Alexander Espinoza after two and then went the distance with Norbelto Jiminez.
Moloney measures 5-feet-5-inches tall with a wingspan of 65 inches and will give up a 2.5-inches in height and two inches in reach to Nakatani. Since turning pro after a fine amateur career, Moloney has also captured several Australian, Oceania and Commonwealth belts in the bantamweight and junior bantamweight divisions. His biggest wins have been against the likes of Miguel Gonzalez, Selemani Bangaiza, Luis Concepcion, Rene Dacquel, Aramis Solis and Raymond Tabugon with Franco being the only man to beat him.
Nakatani is seven six years younger than Moloney, is bigger, has more power and is unbeaten. Moloney’s twin brother Jason won a world title last weekend with an uneventful majority decision over Vincent Astrolabio but I don’t think Andrew is going to take this title unless he throws punches in volume. I think when all is said and done though, Nakatani’s power and skills should see him win a world title in a second weight division in an fine fan-friendly fight.
Nakatani’s combination skills and power should be enough to do the trick.
Play: Nakatani -350 @ BetOnline.ag
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