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Alexandro Santiago vs. Junto Nakatani: Date, time, how to watch, background

Alexandro Santiago is scheduled to defend his 118-pound title against two-division champ Junto Nakatani on a stacked card Saturday in Tokyo.

ALEXANDRO SANTIAGO (28-3-5, 14 KOs)
VS. JUNTO NAKATANI (26-0, 19 KOs)

  • Date: Saturday, Feb. 24

  • Time: 5 a.m. ET / 2 a.m. PT (main event later in show)

  • Where: Kokugikan Arena, Tokyo

  • TV/Stream: ESPN+

  • Division: Bantamweight (118 pounds)

  • At stake: Santiago’s WBC title

  • Pound-for-pound: None

  • Odds: Nakatani 6-1 favorite (average of multiple outlets)

  • Significance (up to five stars): ****

  • Also on the card: Takuma Inoue vs. Jerwin Ancajas, bantamweights (for Inoue’s WBA title); Kosei Tanaka vs. Christian Bacasegua, junior bantamweights (for vacant WBO title)

  • Background: Santiago vs. Nakatani highlights a card featuring three major titles fights. Santiago made a splash last July, when he upset future Hall of Famer Nonito Donaire by winning a unanimous decision and the vacant WBC 118-pound title. The 28-year-old Mexican is 4-0 since he lost a close (disputed?) decision to unbeaten Gary Antonio Russell in November 2021. Nakatani, who had an impressive run a 112- and 115 pounds, will fight for a major title in his first fight as a 118-pounder. The 26-year-old southpaw from Japan is a considerable favorite over Santiago because of his combination of ability, power and strong resume. He’s coming off a one-sided decision over Argi Cortes in the only defense of his WBO 115-pound title, his latest success against elite opposition. He’s 6-0 (4 KOs) against current or former word titleholders. Inoue (18-1, 4 KOs) will be making the first defense of his WBA belt against Ancajas (34-3-2, 23 KOs). The brother of Naoya Inoue is 5-0 since he lost a decision to Nordine Oubaali in 2019. Ancajas bounced back from back-to-back losses to Fernando Martinez by stopping Wilner Soto in five rounds last June. Tanaka (19-1, 11 KOs) will be trying to win a major title in a fourth division. He has won four straight fights since he was stopped by Kazuto Ioka in 2020. Bacasegua (22-4-2, 9 KOs) is fighting for a major title for the first time. He has never fought outside his native Mexico.

Story originally appeared on Boxing Junkie