Teofimo Lopez is one win away from a shot at fulfilling his world-title destiny. Standing in his way is fellow unbeaten Masayoshi Nakatani, who is intent on spoiling his plans.
Lopez and Nakatani will lock horns in a 12-round IBF Lightweight world title eliminator Friday, July 19 at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
The Lopez-Nakatani winner will be the mandatory challenger for IBF champion, Richard Commey.
Read on for Round By Round Boxing‘s staff predictions for Lopez vs. Nakatani and let us know who you think will win.
Round By Round Boxing Staff Predictions - 2020
|Name||Win||Loss||Total Fights||Win Percentage|
Teofimo Lopez vs. Masayoshi Nakatani
Robert Contreras, Staff Writer
Not to say Masayoshi Nakatani can’t fight. The Japanese fighter is an 11-time defending OPBF champion, who last time out relied on his immense size to thwart the bull-rushing Hurricane Futa.
But Lopez is something special. Lopez TKO.
R.L. Woodson, Staff Writer
Surely there’s a formula for Masayoshi Nakatani to win, especially coming on the heel of countryman Ryota Murata’s thrilling ‘revenge’ TKO 2 versus Rob Brant–on ESPN+ just a week ago.
It doesn’t sound like Teofimo Lopez is looking past the 30-year-old Nakatani and all of his experience, with the Japanese champion having several 12-round decisions among his OPBF title defenses.
I’m continuing to enjoy becoming more familiar with this influx of Japanese fighters and their collective approach to fighting, but I expect Lopez to further advance his #TheTakeover movement.
I have to, ESPN’s boxing experts Tim Bradley and Andre Ward told me it would be easy work.
Lopez by mid-rounds stoppage.
Julio Sanchez, Photographer
Michael Burnell, Staff Writer
This should be a great match and as they say, someone’s 0 must go.
Masayoshi Nakatani, nine years Teofimo Lopez’s senior, enjoys a four-and-a-half inch height advantage as well as three inches in reach which he will employ in his effort to outbox his younger foe.
With 11 of Lopez’s 13 wins coming by way of knockout, he will be the aggressor in an effort to stack another one on the growing heap.
Nakatani will box well and frustrate Lopez at times, but his young rival will have far more moments, including a knockdown and cruise to a comfortable decision victory.
Joshua Diaz, Staff Writer
We don’t know enough about Masayoshi Nakatani to say if he will be an opponent that will test Teofimo Lopez.
However, Japanese-born fighters are usually very disciplined and come to fight no matter their opponent. I expect Lopez to KO Nakatani to earn his title shot against IBF champion Richard Commey.
Joseph Hammond, Staff Writer
Alex Burgos, Editor-in-Chief
Teofimo Lopez has an ambitious three-fight plan ahead of him. That all starts on Friday, July 19 with Masayoshi Nakatani at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, MD.
As Lopez said himself this week, he’s now a main event fighter, and I expect him to act like it.
Nakatani will be game early, but #TheTakeover will continue for Lopez and hopefully setup a title chance against IBF titleholder, Richard Commey.