86Boxing was live from the MGM National Harbor when Teofimo Lopez, 14-0 (11 KOs) took on then undefeated Japanese challenger Masayoshi Nakatani, 18-1 (12 KOs). A future shot at the IBF World Lightweight title was on the line. Of course, Top Rank was the promoter and overall card delivered.
In what was a tactical first round, both fighters had much leverage behind their punches early. Nakatani was able to maintain his distance with the jab though Lopez did get in a few left hooks to make matters interesting. Lopez found success with counter shots early in the second as Nakatani continued to look for accuracy from his straight right. Nakatani was able to land some shots to the body of Lopez early in the third, his best being a left hook. Lopez, though, was able to slip in blazing-fast left hooks to the head of Nakatani off counters.
Lopez landed a head-snapping left hook that visibly hurt Nakatani to start the fourth round. Lopez pressed and caught Nakatai with a crisp right hook that seemingly dropped him but was correctly ruled a slip by referee Harvey Dock. Lopez was able to land the overhand right on multiple occasions in the fifth, forcing Nakatani to open up more. Lopez then picked up where he left off in the sixth though Nakatani was able to land a couple of solid rights of his own.
Lopez was able to subtly slip punches.l during throughout the fight and this wasn’t more apparent than in the earlier rounds where he used such ability to make Nakatani miss and leave himself open for returning hooks.
Lopez was able to land more fluidly in the seventh and was very comfortable as he even played a little gamesmanship to the crowd. Nakatani had all but neglected his jab leading into a ninth round where Lopez was able to get off head-snapping hooks from both sides, seemingly distancing himself more and more on the cards. Lopez also started to focus in on the body as he looked to chop down his Nakatani with the right hook.
Nakatani, though, remained game was able to get off with his right hand in the 10th and 11th rounds, offering late term resistance. The 11th was even for the majority of the round until Lopez started to land cleaner shots towards the tail end. Lopez then hurt Nakatani in the 12th as he was able to land vicious left and right hooks that continually snapped Nakatani’s head. Nakatani was able to withstand and showed that at the very least he has one of the tougher chins in division.
When it was all said and done and the cards were read, the fight went down as a unanimous decision victory for Teofimo Lopez and he put himself in line for a shot a Richard Commey’s IBF World Lightweight Championship later this year.
In the co-feature of the evening, Subriel Matias, 14-0 (14 KOs) defeated Maxim Dadashev, 13-1 (11 KOs) via 12th round technical knockout after an action-packed back and forth fight. Both fighters had their moments but the surging Matias was able to afflict more damage later in the contest and forced Dadahev’s trainer, Buddy McGirt, to step in and call the fight.
In both fortunate and unfortunate circumstances, McGirt was able to save what could have been more it reprehensible damage to Dadashev by stopping the fight as Dadashev collapsed after the fight and is currently inter intensive care after requiring brain surgery to reduce swelling to his brain. The boxing world has continued to share their thoughts and prayers as Dadashev and his family battle through this situation. Matais is now in lime for a shot at the IBF World Super Lightweight Championship.
During the undercard, DC native Dusty Hernandez-Harrison, 33-0-1 18 KOs defeated Juan De Angel, 21-12-1 (19 KOs). Harrison is still looking to find footing at 160-pounds after legal and promotional issues forced a nearly three-year hiatus from the ring. After a rather slow first couple of rounds, Harrison opened things up with a big right hook midway through the fifth as the DC crowd urged him onward.
Harrison was again able to land another big right in the sixth that hurt De Angel. Harrison continued to press looking to get his opponent out. Harrison stayed a persistent and it paid off when he dropped De Angel with a left hook to the body in the seventh, securing his 33rd victory. We now wait to see if stiffer competition is in tow.
Additional results from the card are provided below:
Patrick Harris, 17-0 (8 KOs) def. Donald Ward, 11-11-1 (5 KOs) via unanimous decision.
Rolando Vargas, 3-0 (3 KOs) def. Nathaniel Davis 1-1 (1 KO) via second round technical knockout.
Cassius Chaney, 16-0 (10 KOs) def. Joel Caudle 8-3-2 (5 KOs) via a now viral first round technical knockout that saw Caudle get knocked out of the ring prior to the stoppage.
Tyler Howard – 18-0 (11 KOs) def. Jamaal Davis, 18-15-1 (7 KOs) via unanimous decision.
Tyler McCreary 16-0-1 def. Jessie Cris Rosales 22-3-1 (10 KOs) via split decision.
1:35 round 8 TKO Falcao, 24-0 (16 KOs).