Magramo faces unbeaten Nakatani for title in Tokyo
MANILA, Philippines – Giemel Magramo faces a tough foe and a hostile crowd in his quest for the vacant World Boxing Organization flyweight crown on April 4 at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo.
Pitted against the Filipino power puncher is unbeaten Junto Nakatani, recently given the Japanese newcomer award and regarded as one of the world's top boxing prospects at 22 years old.
After losing by unanimous decision to Muhammad Waseem in 2016, Magramo stopped 7 opponents in succession to emerge the No. 1 contender for the 112-pound throne previously occupied by Kosei Tanaka, who decided to move up to super flyweight.
Nakatani, on the other hand, knocked out his last 3 rivals, including former world champion Milan Melindo on October 5, 2019, to gain the No. 3 ranking. Apart from Melindo, Nakatani's other Filipino knockout victims were Joel Taduran in 2017, and Jeronil Borres and Dexter Alimento in 2018.
The 5-foot-7 Nakatani, a talented southpaw with a 20-0 card, 15 by knockouts, relishes the chance to contend for the world crown against the 5-4 Magramo, who is 24-1 with 20 knockouts.
"I'm excited to finally be on the stage. I'm excited now that I can get the best title in the world," said Nakatani during a recent press conference in Tokyo.
Aware of Magramo's capabilities, Nakatani and his trainer, Takahashi Okada, are making sure he will be in perfect condition when the bell rings.
Nakatani spent a month training in the United States, where he got the chance to spar with former International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Association super bantamweight champion Daniel Roman.
According to Okada, Nakatani will hold training camp in Atami before returning to Los Angeles early March.
Magramo, for his part, will train at the Elorde Sports Complex in Parañaque, where he resides.
His father, Melvin, and Eddie Balleran will supervise Magramo's preparations under the watch of manager Johnny Elorde. – Rappler.com