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PREVIEW: Andrew Moloney vs Junto Nakatani

Top super flyweight contenders Andrew Moloney and Junto Nakatani will clash for the vacant WBO title on Saturday night, May 20th. The bout will be a featured preliminary bout just prior to the Devin Haney-Vasiliy Lomachenko ESPN PPV card.

After his unsuccessful trilogy with Joshua Franco, Australia’s Moloney (25-2, 16 KO) embarked on a four-fight win streak over the course of a year and a half—with two of those wins coming inside the distance. In his last appearance Moloney outpointed Norbelto Jimenez after 10 rounds back in October.

While Japan’s Nakatani (24-0, 18 KO) is unbeaten and has youth on his side at 25, his career has been recently plagued with inactivity—unfortunately, he’s only had five fights in four years. The former flyweight titleholder's last ring outing was back in November, when he decisioned Francisco Rodriguez Jr over the course of 10 rounds.

The winner of Moloney-Nakatani will be added to a list of super flyweight titleholders that includes Joshua Franco, Fernando Martinez and Juan Francisco Estrada. Currently, Nakatani is coming in as a solid betting favorite to win.

Fighter’s Form (last 5 fights):

Andrew Moloney

Norbelto Jimenez - WIN by UD (98-88, 98-89, 97-90) - 16/10/2022

Alexander Espinoza - WIN by TKO after 2 - 05/06/2022

Gilberto Mendoza - WIN by KO 8 - 09/04/2022

Froilan Saludar - WIN by UD (99-91, 99-91, 98-92) - 21/12/2021

Joshua Franco - LOSS by UD (116-112, 116-112, 116-112) - 14/08/2021

Junto Nakatani

Francisco Rodriguez Jr - WIN by UD (99-90, 98-91, 97-92) - 01/11/2022

Ryota Yamauchi - WIN by TKO 8 - 09/04/2022

Angel Acosta - WIN by TKO 4 - 10/09/2021

Giemel Magramo - WIN by KO 8 - 06/11/2020

Milan Melindo - WIN by TKO 6 - 05/10/2019

Event Information:

Date: May 20th, 2023

Time: 3am (GMT), 7pm (PT), 10pm (ET)

Venue: MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Channel: ESPN/ESPN+

Elsewhere on the card

In the main event, undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney (29-0, 15 KO) will defend his title against former three-division titleholder Vasiliy Lomachenko (17-2, 11 KO) . Also on the card is former two division champion Oscar Valdez (30-1, 23 KO), who will be taking on Adam Lopez (16-4, 6 KO) in a super featherweight rematch of their 2019 bout.

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