Lopez vs Nakatani: From Prospect to Challenger

Fast rising star Teofimo Lopez (13-0, 11KOs) looks to add another “W” to his resume has he faces Masayoshi Nakatani (18-0, 12KOs) in a 12 round lightweight title eliminator with the winner becoming a mandatory challenger for the IBF title which is presently held by Richard Commey. This fight will be presented by Top Rank live on ESPN+ on July 19th at 10PM/ET 7PM/PT and will take place at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

Lopez is an explosive and charismatic prospect with a crowd pleasing skillset as well as post-fight celebrations which tend to include, backflips and various “Fortnite” dances. Lopez fought 6 times in 2017 , 4 times in 2018 and this will be his 3rd fight of 2019. 8 of his last 10 fights ended via stoppage. Lopez is a dangerous lightweight who has been vocal about wanting to fight Ukrainian superstar Vasyl Lomachenko and win for this fight would be a step in the right direction for that fight to happen in the future. Lopez refers to himself as “The Takeover” and he is laying the foundation to takeover the division.

Nakatani will be fighting for the first time outside of japan. Nakatani also has exhibited some monstrous power, ending 7 of his last 8 fights via stoppage. This is a make em or break em fight for Nakatani. A loss will send him back to Japan as a “no name”, but a win in the states could raise his stock fairly quickly.

Both these fighters are known to put fighters down. Sparks will fly when these heavyhanded lightweights collide. Who will claim the chance to challenge for a title? Tune in and find out on July 19th!

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