Former three-division world champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist Vasyl Lomachenko (15-2, 11 KOs) scored a ninth round KO over Masayoshi Nakatani (19-2, 13 KOs) on Saturday.
Rebounding from his loss to Teofimo Lopez last October, Lomachenko took part Nakatani with technical skill. He knocked down Nakatani with a right hand in round five. Lomachenko teed off in round six, but Nakatani withstood the onslaught.
Nakatani’s right eye was almost closed after round seven. In round nine, Lomachenko laughed a furious assault to batter Nakatani to a knee and end it. Time was 1:48.
“I’m happy because I won. All the strategies that we developed with my team worked. I reached all my goals. I won and now I’m back on track. Everybody saw how I won this fight, and everybody is waiting for the rematch with Lopez, so let’s make a rematch," Lomachenko said.
Lomachenko’s loss to Lopez cost the 33-year-old his WBA and WBO lightweight titles and left the former unified champ on the outside looking in on a division that inherited a youth movement of undefeated fighters, including Lopez (16-0), Devin Haney (26-0), Ryan Garcia (21-0) and Gervonta Davis (25-0), who also fought Saturday, defeating Mario Barrios with an 11th-round TKO in Atlanta.
A Lopez rematch could take place later this year or in early 2022, with Top Rank chairman Bob Arum ready to pull the trigger.