Nakatani vs. Santiago, Inoue vs. Ancajas: A Stacked Card Will Go Down In Tokyo, Japan This Saturday!

By James Slater - 02/22/2024 - Comments

After a pretty quiet weekend schedule for boxing fans (we should of course have seen the big fight on this past Saturday night, between Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury, but alas, we hope (and pray) for the new date of May 18 to come off) – we can now look forward to a solid schedule set for this coming weekend.

Fans will get the potential slugfest that is Edgar Berlanga against Padraig McCrory in Orlando on Saturday, while we fans will also get to see the absolutely magnificent Andy Cruz return to action on the same card on DAZN. Cruz has that special look the upcoming great ones have, he really does.

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But the card of the weekend will take place in Tokyo, Japan and broadcasst live on ESPN+. Japanese boxing is really buzzing right now, thanks in large part to the world domination of a certain “Monster,” Naoya Inoue. There are other special fighters from Japan who are currently plying their trade, including Kazuto Ioka, Kenshiro Teraji, and Ginjiro Shigeoka.

And also, Takuma Inoue (brother of Naoya), Kosei Tanaka, and Junto Nakatani. And these three will all be in action at the famed Ryogoku Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo this Saturday. And we fans who know how entertaining these stacked cards from Japan can be, well, we can’t wait.

Start Time

  • Event: Takuma Inoue vs. Jerwin Ancajas
  • Date: Saturday, February 24
  • US Start Time: 4 am ET
  • UK Start Time: 9 am UK time
  • Main Event Ringwalks (Approx.): 6 am ET / 11 am UK time
  • Inoue’s Ringwalk (Likely): 5 am ET / 10 am UK time
  • Broadcast: LIVE on ESPN+ in the U.S.

Inoue, 18-1(4) and the reigning WBA bantamweight champ, will face Filipino warrior, former IBF junior-bantamweight champ Jerwin Ancajas. And this fight basically has ‘can’t-miss’ written all over it as far as it turning out action. The ‘other Inoue’ is no huge banger, but Takuma chucks out a ton of leather, he has skills and passion, and the less famous sibling from a fighting family is always fun to watch.

Ancajas, 34-3-2(23) is the same, although he packed a pretty decent wallop down at junior bantam. Together, these two should give us some fight on Saturday.

Tanaka, 19-1(11) and a former champ at three weights, is gunning for a fourth belt, this against Mexico’s Christian Rangel, 22-4-2(9), and this one also promises to be well worth tuning in for. Tanaka has been in some real wars, and his sole loss, to Kazuto Ioka, is nothing to be ashamed of. Can Tanaka make good on his dream of becoming a four-division champ, or will another Mexican tough guy go home with the victory? This fight will contest the vacant WBO super flyweight title.

The fight of the night in Tokyo might just be provided by Alexandro Santiago Vs. Junto Nakatani. Nakatani, 26-0(19) and already a two-weight champion, this at flyweight and junior-bantamweight, will, like Tanaka, face a Mexican as he bids for another world title. And Santiago, who is coming off a fine win over Nonito Donaire, will take some shifting. Santiago, 28-3-5(14) has never been stopped and he plans on leaving Japan with his WBC bantamweight belt securely strapped around his waist. Again, this one WILL provide fireworks.

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In fact, all three fights may do so.

Three fights, each of them more than worth watching, with perhaps two, maybe even all three of them proving to be potential FOFY material.

Will YOU be tuning in this Saturday?

Fight Card

  • Alexandro Santiago vs. Junto Nakatani
  • Takuma Inoue vs. Jerwin Ancajas
  • Kosei Tanaka vs. Christian Bacasegua
  • Jonas Sultan vs. Riku Masuda