Junto Nakatani vs Argi Cortes Preview September 18th, 2023
Unbeaten WBO Flyweight Champion and current WBO Super Flyweight Champion Junto Nakatani of Japan will be defending his crown for the first time this Monday, September 18th when he takes on Argi Cortes of Mexico. Nakatani won the vacant belt in June with a brutal 12th-round knockout over former WBO Flyweight Champion Andrew Moloney of Australia after dropping him in the second and 11th rounds. This week’s 12-rounder will be held at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo and can be seen live in America on ESPN+ with the card beginning about 5am ET. Cortes last saw action in March when he beat Adolfo Gonzalez via a 10-round majority decision.
Nakatani vs Cortes Betting Odds
- Argi Cortes +1100
- Junto Nakatani -2500
The 25-year-old Nakatani is a southpaw who already boasts a perfect record of 25-0 with 19 Ko’s. He’s boxed 118 rounds since making his pro debut in 2015 as a teenager and won the vacant Japanese Flyweight title in 2019 when he stopped Naoki Mochizuki in the ninth round. The champion has displayed excellent power up until now with a current knockout ratio of 76 per cent and has stopped seven of his last eight opponents with his KO over Moloney being one of the most sensational of the year. The only man go last the distance with him in that span was Francisco Rodriguez Jr, who he beat by 10-round unanimous decision last November.
Nakatani, who stands just over 5-feet-7-inches tall with a 67-inch reach, stopped former world champion Milan Melindo of the Philippines in the sixth round in October, 2019 and then won 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. He possesses a fine, stinging jab and powerful left hand.
The 28-year-old Cortes enters the ring with a mark of 25-3-2 with 10 Ko’s and has boxed 163 rounds since making his pro debut in 2014. Cortes isn’t known for his power as just 40 per cent of his wins have come by stoppage and he’s gone the distance in his last six outings. He has a great chin though as he’s never been stopped. Cortes was a relative unknown until losing a close 12-round unanimous decision to Juan Francisco Estrada last September after being dropped in the seventh round.
Unfortunately, Cortes has an unlisted height and reach so we can’t compare him size-wise to Nakatani. The two losses on his pro record came at the hands of Alan Blanco by way of third-round disqualification in his third pro fight in 2014 and a four-round majority decision to Joaquin Cruz in his next fight a year later. One of his two draws was also against Blanco as it was a five-round technical decision in 2017 and he also drew with Joel Cordova over eight rounds in 2018. Cortes has never fought as a pro outside of Mexico and will be taking another big step up in class this weekend.
Nakatani has a lot more power than Cortes and is unbeaten, but Cortes shocked a lot of people by going the distance with Estrada and coming close to pulling off an upset. This is his first fight out of Mexico though and it’s all the way over in Japan. I think when all is said and done though, Nakatani’s power and skills should see him retain his title in a fan-friendly fight and the best bet is to take him by way of stoppage.
Nakatani’s combination of skills and power should be enough to do the trick.
Play: Nakatani -2500 @ BetOnline.ag
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