Magramo takes on Nakatani in Tokyo

Published November 5, 2020, 8:49 PM

by Waylon Galvez

After several delays, the title match between Filipino boxer Giemel Magramo and Japanese opponent Junto Nakatani is finally happening as they clash for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) flyweight title Friday at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan.

The bout has been postponed five times the past eight months, mainly because of the coronavirus pandemic, but after the weigh-in Thursday, there’s no doubt the fight is all set.

Magramo, the 26-year-old knockout artist who has a 24-1 record with 20 KOs, expects an exciting battle against the 22-year-old Nakatani, who is unbeaten in 20 fights with 15 KOs, for the 112-pound crown.

Magramo will enter the fight a bit lighter as he weighed 111.5 lbs. as opposed to Nakatani, who tipped the scale at 111.7 lbs.

The Magramo-Nakatani title fight was originally set April 4, but due to COVID-19 pandemic, it was moved to June 6, and then to July 4, August 1, and then August 26. The Japan Boxing Commission opted to do it November 6.

Magramo’s team – composed of father-trainer Melvin Magramo, as well as assistant trainer Toto Laurente, manager Johnny Elorde, and son Juan Miguel – left for Tokyo late last month and has trained at the Grand Palace Hotel.

The 5-foot-4 Magramo will face a fighter in Tanaka – a southpaw – that has won against former two-division world champion in Filipino Milan Melindo, who he demolished in six rounds last October 5, 2019.

Aside from that, the 5-foot-7 Tanaka also defeated another Filipino in Philip Luis Cuerdo with a sensational first round knockout last June 1, 2019, before outclassing fellow Japanese Naoka Mochizuki in nine rounds a few months later.

On the other hand, Magramo, one of the top fighters of the Elorde Boxing Stable under Johnny and Liza Elorde, had won his last seven fights following a setback against Pakistani Muhammad Waseem last November 27, 2016.