Savage Vasiliy Lomachenko sends message to Teofimo Lopez with KO

Lomachenko

Mikey Williams

Vasiliy Lomachenko sent a clear message to Teofimo Lopez by stopping the man the undisputed lightweight ruler couldn’t on Saturday night.

“Loma” returned in a big way.

The former pound-for-pound king and three-weight world champion knocked out Masayoshi Nakatani in the ninth round at The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

Lomachenko (15-2, 11 KOs) faced a hint of adversity when a headbutt opened up a cut in the opening round. But that would be the extent of his troubles. It was one-way traffic throughout, as Nakatani (19-2, 13 KOs) showed an incredibly sturdy chin but little in the way of offense.

Lomachenko floored Nakatani with a left-right combination and lay a savage beating on his Japanese opponent in the fifth round. The end came in the ninth round when Celestino Ruiz called an end to the carnage.

Lomachenko now sets his aim on a rematch with Teofimo Lopez, who bested him last October in Las Vegas.

Lomachenko said, “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 beats Nakatani 2021
Mikey Williams

“He has a fight in the future with {George} Kambosos, but how about after, at the beginning of next year? December, January, February, I am waiting.”

Added Top Rank chairman Bob Arum, “In case there was any doubt, Lomachenko proved he is still one of the very best fighters in the world. He is healthy and ready to fight any of the lightweights.”

Janibek Batters Rob Brant

The middleweight division has a new boogeyman, and his name is Janibek “Qazaq Style” Alimkhanuly. In eight rounds, the 2016 Olympian bludgeoned and ultimately stopped former world champion Rob Bravo” Brant to retain his WBC Continental Americas and WBO Global titles.

The southpaw Alimkhanuly (10-0, 6 KOs) found a home for his straight left hand all evening, knocking Brant (26-3, 18 KOs) down in the sixth. After the eighth round, Brant’s corner saved their man from additional punishment, capping a one-sided exhibition.

Alimkhanuly said, “Tonight, I showed the world what ‘Qazaq Style’ is about. Rob Brant is a former world champion for a reason, but I came here to showcase my full arsenal, and that’s what I did.

“I am highly ranked, and I have the confidence to fight any middleweight in the world. I had a great training camp with Buddy McGirt, and this was the result of all the hard work we did in camp.”

Welterweight: Giovani Santillan (27-0, 15 KOs) UD 8 Cecil McCalla (23-5, 10 KOs). Scores: 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74. Welterweight contender Santillan fought for the first time in more than a year and shook off the ring rust with a professional decision over McCalla, a Maryland native who had won two straight entering the fight.

Bantamweight: Luis Fernando Saavedra (9-6, 3 KOs) UD 6 Robert Rodriguez (9-1-1, 5 KOs). Scores: 60-54 2x and 59-55.

Upset Alert. Saavedra, from Mexico, knocked off his second undefeated prospect in as many fights, out-hustling the Robert Garcia-trained Rodriguez to win a clear decision.

Rodriguez was coming off a pair of devastating knockouts last year inside the MGM Grand Las Vegas Bubble.

Further results

Bantamweight: Floyd Diaz (2-0) UD 4 Jaime Jasso (2-1). Scores: 40-36 3x. In Floyd Mayweather’s gym, Las Vegas native Diaz, an 18-year-old phenom who came of age, shut out Jasso over four rounds.

Heavyweight: Guido Vianello (8-0-1, 8 KOs) TKO 2 Marlon Williams (6-2, 3 KOs),:02. Vianello bounced back from last October’s draw to Kingsley Ibeh with a second-round blitzing of Williams.

Vianello knocked down Williams twice in the opening round, and the bout was stopped early in the second when Williams wobbled coming out of his corner.

Junior Featherweight: Subaru Murata (1-0, 1 KO) TKO 2 Keven Monroy (1-2, 1 KO), 1:42.

Former Japanese amateur phenom Murata, who Teiken Promotions promote, shone in his professional debut.

The southpaw landed a left cross on Monroy’s chin midway through round two, and that was enough for referee Russell Mora to stop the fight.

Lightweight: DeMichael Harris (4-0, 4 KOs) TKO 3 Jonatan Hernan Godoy (5-9), 3:00.

Harris put on a show in his Las Vegas debut, knocking down Godoy three times in the third round. Godoy’s corner stopped the bout at the end of the round.

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