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Astrolabio in Great Shape Ahead of Nakatani World Title Challenge (Fight Analysis)


PhilBoxing.com




Standing confident besides his head coach Nonoy Neri, world-title challenger Vincent "Asero" Astrolabio looks in fantastic shape ahead of one the most important fights of his life.

The strong Astrolabio (19-4, 14 KO's), a protégé of Filipino boxing king Manny Pacquiao and MP President Sean Gibbons, will challenge Japanese star, knockout artist, 3-division world champion Junto Nakatani (27-0, 20 KO's) for the WBC Bantamweight (118 pounds) World Title.

An exciting fight and tough one.

Promoted by Hall-of-Fame promoter Akihiko Honda, the "Nakatani vs Astrolabio" rumble will take place Saturday, July 20, at the famous Ryōgoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan, live on ESPN.

For the crucial war, the 27-year-old Gensan-native has been preparing at the famous MP Gym under the guidance of former Pacquiao trainer Nonoy Neri, one of the most experienced and beloved boxing coaches in the country.

Yes, experienced, professional and easy-to-get-along-with, Nonoy Neri is the gifted trainer who helped "The Pacman" in so many of his historic battles.

In fact, Astrolabio could not be in better hands. Right?


Strong-looking Astrolabio poses with coach Nonoy Neri and teammates ahead of Nakatani fight.

So, taking advantage of this golden chance of fighting again for the world title, Astrolabio has been 100% focused in being ready, following up on Neri's guidance.

In doing so, both men have not only been able to get the best out of training camp, but also created a spiritual bond that would last forever.

That is beautiful. It’s beyond boxing.

Astrolabio is around good people.

And there are more members in the team.

In effect, Neri will bring to Japan the same team members that assisted Astrolabio in his thrilling round 11 knockout win over Thai Navapon Khaikanha almost one year ago in Thailand.

Assisting Neri to help Astrolabio beat Nakatani are coaches Brille Vincent J. Dayaganon and Aries Jay Buenavidez.

This is exactly the same team that achieved victory over Navapon in Thailand.

As fans might remember, that Thailand victory in August of last year granted Vincent Astrolabio the right to fight for the green-and-golden WBC Bantamweight World Belt.

Astrolabio earned that right.

And fans might also remember that beating Navapon was not easy at all. But he did it.

Then, Astrolabio believes that he found the way to win before, so he can win again, even though, on paper, the clash is a really a tough one.

In reality, Junto Nakatani is the most dangerous boxer Astrolabio has ever faced.

That is because Nakatani is not only an explosive fighter with proven speed, skills and power but also because the Nippon star is young (only 26), and with the big advantage of fighting in his own country.

Plus, he is an amazing knockout artist.

Who could forget how Junto Nakatani won the best "KO of Year 2023" award when he blasted Andrew Moloney out of his senses, disassembling the Australian in that thrilling round 12 in Las Vegas?

So yes, we all think that this battle is tough one.
Absolutely, the mission is difficult, but not impossible.

Astrolabio has proven time and again that he is a fighter of quality, strength and heart.

He demonstrated those attributes against difficult warriors as Navapon Khaikanha, Nikolai Potapov, Guillermo Rigondeaux and even against Jason Moloney, with whom Asteolabio waged a blow by blow war that he finally lost in a close majority decision.

In fact, about that fight of Astrolabio against Jason Molonely, many fans thought at the time that he should have won it, or at least get a draw. In fact, one of the judges scored it a draw.

But it's fine. A learning experience. It's past.

What is important for Astrolabio is the present and the future. The present is that he is healthy, strong, well-trained and with an excellent team backing him up, a team that includes manager Sean Gibbons, who very likely will travel to Japan as well. Great.

How about the future? What will happen on Saturday, July 20, in Tokyo, Japan?

Will Vincent Astrolabio be able to find his best fighting rhythm, time-in his power shots as he did against Potapov and Navapon, to reduce Nakatani, shocking and dethroning him in his own land of Japan?

Or will the super hard-hitting Nippon champion Nakatani - trained by renown Mexican-American coach Rudy Hernandez - be the one to outbox and dominate the big-hearted Filipino challenger?

Interestingly, Nakatani vs Astrolabio for the WBC Bantamweight World Title is one of the three world title battles that top Japanese promoter Akihiko Honda will staging for fans on July 20.

The other two world title clashes in the show are:

Japanese Riku Kano locking horns against Mexican-American Anthony Olascuaga for the vacant WBO Flyweight title.

And 4-division world champion "The Monster of Chukyo" Kosei Tanaka defending for the first time his WBO Super Flyweight Strap against Mexican challenger Jonathan "Titan" Rodríguez.

May the Best Men Win!


The author Carlos Costa of Panama is veteran boxing writer living in Cebu. Carlos can be reached at carlos@philboxing.com and Whatsapp +639184538152.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Carlos Costa.


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