WBO World Flyweight Champion Jyunjin Nakatani Given “New Weapon” by Master Boxer | FRIDAY DIGITAL

WBO World Flyweight Champion Jyunjin Nakatani Given “New Weapon” by Master Boxer

23 victories, all by 18 KOs! Next Monster, first fight in the super flyweight division, and he's on the move to win the two-weight championship!

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On the day I first met Jundt, I was convinced that he was going to be a world champion. I could feel the strength of his ambition, not to mention his sense of style. He had another trainer at the time, but later he came to me with his father to ask me to teach him. I’ve worked with many champions, but he’s number one.

Jyunjin Nakatani, 24, has been training in Los Angeles since mid-August with the aim of winning a two-weight championship. His trainer, Rudy Hernandez (59), who has been working with him since he was 15, recalled their first encounter. Hernandez has worked with Takehara Shinji (50), Hatayama Takanori (47), Ito Masayuki (31), and his own brother Genaro, who won the world title.

The camp lasted a total of three months, but “When I invited my students to the pool, only Jundt was not interested. All he cares about is getting stronger.

When the bell rang to begin sparring, the sight before me took my breath away. Nakatani, who had won all 23 of his fights with 18 KOs, had fought all of them as a southpaw, but against the former national amateur champion, he was moving in an orthodox (right stance).

Nakatani’s boxing is quick to switch between offense and defense, and he does not take punches from his opponents. His boxing is full of speed, and each movement is beautiful. However, I felt his orthodox style of fighting was awkward. In fact, he was hit by several bullets. Then, with one eye closed, Rudy said to me, “The good thing about Junto is that he is a learner.

The good thing about Junto is that he is not afraid to learn. In addition to his talent, he has an eagerness to learn. That’s why he can grow.

During the interval, Rudy instructed Nakatani to “head slip or block your partner’s punches with your back against the ropes and put in a short, strong right uppercut. In the next round, Nakatani tried that several times. Even with his right stance, his advanced defense was still alive. Rudy continued.

I never want to see my fighters get hit. I never want to see my players get hit,” Rudy continued. But because he works on his defense in training, he can dodge punches in the ring. If he can make the switch, he will take a big leap forward.

After training, I asked Nakatani about his orthodox training.

Rudy told me, ‘Weapons are pistols, knives, rifles, and grenades. Rudy told me, ‘You have pistols, knives, rifles, and hand grenades, but orthodox is your new weapon. It was a very typical way for him to say that. He meant that I should have more options. I was absurdly excited. I changed my center of gravity back a little after my 13th professional match, but I actually changed it in the middle of the match. I had been practicing on a regular basis, but Rudy always thinks about the best way to fight and makes it flexible. I think his intention this time, too, was to have me learn to fight in an orthodox style, which I would be able to bring out someday.”

Rudy’s trust in him is unshakable, as he came to the U.S. by himself at the age of 15 and has continued to work with him.

It’s difficult, and it’s not easy. You can’t help but face your opponent head-on. The accuracy of my punches and the way I use my body are also issues. With orthodox, my guard drops at certain times, and I have a different feel for what I see in situations that a southpaw would be able to react to. However, there are many things I absorb from fighting with orthodox fighters, such as the fact that southpaws feel far away from me, and I am having a lot of fun. I am having a lot of fun with it. I am sure that I am getting better at it. I feel that I am becoming flesh and blood.

–Nakatani assured us, “You can follow this person.

Nakatani assured him of that.

Rudy said, “Jundt will have no problem winning four weight classes up to super bantam, and there is a possibility of five or six classes. Nakatani echoed those words.

It gives me confidence. I feel that I can reach that level by the way I build up my career and my achievements from now on. I’ve been repeating the process of, ‘Once I’ve cleared one goal, I’ll do it with an eye on the next. Rudy’s advice is the new theme. I am not satisfied at all, because I am aiming to be the strongest pound for pound. If we were talking about climbing a mountain, I think I’m only at the first or second station.”

All eyes will be on Rudy’s first fight as a super flyweight, a November 1 bout against Francisco Rodriguez, Jr.

On that day, Rudy (left) instructed him to fight seven rounds in a right hand stance. I’m OK with getting hit now, because I’m still learning.”
Road work near his lodgings. He rents a car with his brother, who serves as his manager, and commutes to Rudy’s gym.
He also follows his mentor’s teachings strictly in terms of diet. He is 172 cm tall, so super featherweight (the sixth weight class) is not a problem for him in terms of size.


  • Interview, text, and photography by Soichi Hayashi (Nonfiction writer)

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