Vasiliy Lomachenko returned to form in style as he stopped Masayoshi Nakatani in the ninth round of their Lightweight meeting in Las Vegas.
Lomachenko (15-2, 11 KOs) was making his first appearance since losing his world titles in a shock October 2020 loss on the cards to Teofimo Lopez, and he put himself back on track for a potential rematch with a ruthless win against Nakatani (19-2, 13 KOs), who had taken Lopez all twelve rounds in July 2019.
The contest began with some concern for the Ukrainian, as a clash of heads left him with a cut just above his forehead, but he shrugged that off pretty quickly, landing a quick-fire left hand in round two that forced the Japanese to hold.
The three-weight world champion was dominant, and Nakatani had to work the body of his opponent to buy himself time in round four.
The only time that could be bought in the fifth was the bell, and the 32-year-old was down right at the end of the frame from a Lomachenko combination while he was backpedalling, but the bell to end the round saved him from a further onslaught.
The attacks kept on coming, and yet another thudding combination scored for ‘Loma’ in the sixth, and he caused swelling around the eye of Nakatani in round seven as the writing looked on the wall.
The 33-year-old upped the ante, and round nine saw the finish, as a left hand dipped the knees of the Tokyo native, and he crumpled to the floor after another assault, with the fight waved off.
Thoughts quickly turned towards Lopez, with the Brooklynite set to face a rearranged clash with George Kambosos Jr.
“Everybody saw me, everybody saw how I won, and everybody has been waiting for a rematch, so let’s make a rematch,” Lomachenko post-fight.
CONFIRMED: Everyone wants it.
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) June 27, 2021
“He [Lopez] has a fight with Kambosos next, but how about after? December, January, February. I am waiting.”
Zhanibek Alimkhanuly (10-0, 6 KOs) scored the biggest win of his career, as he forced former WBA Middleweight champion, Rob Brant, to retire after eight rounds of their battle. Brant (26-3, 18 KOs) had also been floored in the sixth round.
Heavyweight hope, Guido Vianello (8-0-1, 8 KOs) scored a second round stoppage win over Marlon Williams (6-2, 3 KOs), while at Lightweight, DeMichael Harris moved to 4-0 (4 KOs) as he forced Jonatan Hernan Godoy (5-9) to retire after three rounds.
At Bantamweight, Robert Rodriguez (9-1-1, 5 KOs) lost his unbeaten record, slipping to to a wide points defeat over six to Luis Fernando Saavedra (9-6, 3 KOs) by scores of 60-54 (twice) and 59-55.
Also at Bantamweight, Floyd Diaz (2-0) took a four round decision against Jaime Jasso (2-1). Subaru Murata (1-0, 1 KO) made a successful debut, stopping Keven Monroy (1-2, 1 KO) in two rounds at Super Bantamweight.