Quijano: The return of ‘The Matrix’

LAST Sunday, June 27, 2021, former No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter Vasyl Lomachenko reminded everyone why he is dubbed “The Matrix” as he dished out an incredible beating on Makayoshi Nakatani (19-2, 13 KOs) before stopping him in the 9th round.

This Last Rounder is unapologetically a fan of his and candid enough to admit that I was quite relieved to see he hasn’t lost a step at age 33 and should be good enough to beat Teofimo Lopez in a rematch, given the proper strategy.

THE FIGHT. Loma (14-2, 10KOs) started out more aggressive than usual and found a home for that straight left hand in the very first round.

An accidental head butt drew blood from Loma, but luckily it didn’t seem to bother him the rest of the fight.

Nakatani tried to walk down Loma in the second round, but the latter would have none of it as he stood his ground and fired off counter-shots.

In the third, Nakatani got off a few decent jabs, but Lomachenko was the one walking him down. If you consider that Loma is actually a featherweight but had to go up two weight divisions to seek challenges, you will appreciate how good he is when you see Nakatani — who is just a tad below six feet start backing down from the smaller man.

In the last seconds of the round, Lomachenko landed two left hands that had Nakatani reeling and finally down, but the ref ruled it a slip.

In rounds four and five, Nakatani tried to go to the body, but Loma was wise enough to tie him up and land stinging counters whenever he saw openings.

Loma finally scored his first official knockdown with about eight seconds left after a left hook-right hook combo.

Nakatani got up immediately but walked back to his corner as the round ended with his nose bleeding.

Perhaps sensing he was way behind on the cards, Nakatani started opening up in the 6th. Big mistake he opened himself up to Loma’s short brutal counters.

In the 7th, Loma continued his domination and in the dying seconds punished Nakatani with several nasty combinations.

Lomachenko continued dishing out a sustained beating in the 8th round and Loma finally ended matters in the ninth. Two straight left hands wobbled the gallant Japanese warrior and Loma closed the show after the ref came to the rescue of a hapless, helpless Nakatani in the middle of the ring and called for the denouement of the fight.

MATRIX. Loma is a true artist of the “Sweet Science” and simply enthralling to watch. He is master of space, indirect movements and feints that befuddle opponents into committing lapses that he is able to capitalize on quickly.

Of course, Nakatani is a notch below Lopez though he did survive 12 rounds with the latter and lost via decision.

Loma will still need every ounce of that talent and guile to beat Lopez, but he showed he was up for the challenge in the way he dominated Nakatani.

LAST ROUND. It’s on Atty M.E. Zosa, our dashing and indefatigable associate at the Zosa and Quijano Law Offices, who celebrates his birthday this week. Cheers!


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