MGM National Harbor - In an IBF lightweight final eliminator, Teofimo Lopez (14-0, 11 KOs) was unable to get one of his dramatic knockouts, but he was able to win a twelve round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Masayoshi Nakatani (18-1, 12 KOs). The scores were 118-110, 118-110 and 119-109. (photos by Mikey Williams).
Lopez is now in line for a clash with IBF champion Richard Commey.
Nakatani was doing well in the first round with his long frame and using his reach for a quick jab. Lopez was connecting with the much harder punches. Lopez continued to land the harder punches in the second and third.
Lopez was really taking the fight to Nakatani in the fourth, pressing forward with big punches and connecting well. There were some solid shots landing by Lopez in rounds five and six, but Nakatani was able to take them very well and kept coming.
Lopez controlled the fight as the action played out. Nakatani was able to land here and there, but his punches were not really doing much damage. In the tenth, Nakatani was able to land several telling pinches that seemed to get Lopez's attention.
Lopez was able to land the better punches, with the more eye catching combinations, in the final two rounds.