By: Sean Crose
On Saturday night, the 14-2 Vasyl Lomachenko returned to the ring for the first time since his decision loss to Teofimo Lopez in a high profile lightweight title bout last year. This time, the fighter known as Loma took on Japan’s 19-1 Masayoshi Nakatani. The bout was broadcast live on ESPN+ from Vegas’ Virgin Hotels and was a scheduled 12 round lightweight affair.
Loma landed well in the first, but Nakatani jabbed well, too. A head butt led to a cut on Loma’s forehead. Loma landed with his left smoothly and effectively in the second. The fighter known as High Tech employed his fluidity, angles and sharpshooting expertly in the third. Nakatani fought much better in the fourth. A combination sent Nakatani down at the end of the fifth.
There was a moment in the sixth where it looked like Loma was going to stop his man, as he fired away furiously and seemingly at will. To his extreme credit, Nakatani was able to survive the onslaught, as well as the round. Coming in at a fast pace and at awkwardly angles, Loma continued to pepper his opponent’s face in the seventh. The beating went on in the eighth. Loma proceeded to beat on his man so savagely in the ninth that the referee stopped the fight.