Nakatani stops Magramo in world title clash

Giemel Magramo waded in but Japanese Junto Nakatani always repelled his lunges.

Showing he was not only longer but sharper, Nakatani decked Magramo in the eighth round, and although the Filipino beat the count, referee Nobuto Ikehara called a halt to the lopsided bout for the World Boxing Organization flyweight crown at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo on Friday, November 6.

Using his three-inch reach advantage to the hilt, Nakatani hinted of the outcome when he rocked Magramo with a right straight and then with a left in the first round.

Magramo persevered to close in and land body punches in the succeeding rounds, but Nakatani countered with uppercuts and body punches of his own.

In the eighth, Nakatani wobbled Magramo with two solid lefts then unloaded a flurry of punches that finally ended the Filipino's world title bid.

Magramo's best round was the sixth when he sneaked in a left to the face and landed body blows. Nakatani, however, recovered his bearing and traded shots with Magramo in the last 26 seconds.

The 22-year-old Nakatani, who towers over Magramo by 3 1/2 inches, stretched his unbeaten run to 21 with 16 knockouts.

Magramo dropped to 24-2 with 20 knockouts.

Magramo became the sixth straight Filipino knockout victim of Nakatani, who also disposed of Pedro Taduran, Jeromil Borres, Dexter Alimento, Philip Cuerdo, and former world champion Milan Melindo, in succession.

The fight was first scheduled in April but got postponed 5 times owing to travel restrictions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

The 26-year-old Magramo was the first foreign fighter to see action in Japan following the cancelation of Hirotio Kyoguchi's defense of the World Boxing Association light flyweight title against Thai Thanongsdak Simsri on Thursday. Kyoguchi and his trainer tested positive for the virus.

Magramo entered the ring at around 121 pounds after weighing in at 111.55 on Thursday. Nakatani also went over 120 pounds after checking in at 111.77.

Melvin Magramo, Giemel's father and trainer, manned his corner with assistant trainer Toto Laurente.

Other members of Team Magramo were his managers, husband and wife Johnny and Liza Elorde, and their son Juan Mig Elorde. ā€“ Rappler.com