Barnstorming Nakatani Favored
It’s not quite one-way traffic for Junto Nakatani with boxing odds, but he’s well-favored to beat Andrew Moloney on Saturday.
The Japanese fighter is unbeaten after 24 fights as he puts his WBO World Flyweight title on the line against Australia’s Moloney, who is 25-2.
The sportsbook has the challenger at +325 to cause an upset at the MGM Grand.
Japanese Boxing Powerhouse
Japanese boxing is on a real high at the moment, and Nakatani is one reason why.
The 25-year-old has made waves in the flyweight division, and a win over Moloney could see him continue to rise up the ranks.
Boxing betting lines are respecting the unbeaten fighter, who has 18 wins by knockout on his impressive record.
His most recent fight came against Francisco Rodriguez Jr. in Japan. He won easily by decision, which followed an eighth-round knockout of countryman Ryota Yamauchi.
Our main concern is his lack of experience fighting outside of Japan. He has had only one fight in the United States, which was a fourth-round TKO against Angel Acosta for the title, so it was a good showing.
It’s his Vegas debut, and he wants to impress the big crowd as the Haney vs. Lomachenko undercard.
“Andrew Moloney is an ex-world champion and he has had many experiences, so I expect a good fight,” Nakatani said.
“I think he is good, an above-average fighter. I [will] find out his areas of weakness on the ring.” I have trained in the U.S. since I was 15 years old, so I [want to] show a good performance at this great opportunity in front of an American audience.”
Sport betting markets expect Nakatani to win and retain his belt. If he starts well, his Boxing live betting odds could firm to around -500, as we don’t see Moloney winning with a later-round knockout.
Moloney Wants Title Back
Despite boxing lines having Moloney at +325 to win, being a former world champion has to be respected.
He has fought in Las Vegas numerous times, including when he lost his title to Joshua Franco in 2020.
It hasn’t been an easy time for the Australian since, including a no-contest in the rematch to Franco, which was followed by another loss via unanimous decision.
However, he comes off four consecutive wins against easier opponents. That’s our main concern for the 32-year-old, who comes up against a Japanese buzzsaw on Saturday.
He needs to elevate his game if he wants to pull off the upset as the online gambling underdog.
“There is a lot of hype around Nakatani, so I just I hope I get the credit for this after I beat him,” Moloney said. “Nakatani is a very avoided fighter and there is no doubt this will be a tough fight but winning this fight will change mine and my family’s life and I’m not leaving that ring without that world title in my hands.”
Having a world champion as a brother (Jason Moloney) helps. He can draw from the confidence in his camp, so we’re not writing him off.
Nakatani vs Moloney Head-to-Head
This is the first meeting between Nakatani and Moloney.
Nakatani vs Moloney Fight Information
- Fighters: Nakatani (24-0) vs Moloney (25-2)
- Location: MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV
- Day/Time: Saturday, May 20, 10:00 p.m. ET
- Nakatani vs Moloney Live stream: Box Live
Nakatani vs Moloney Betting Lines
Nakatani vs Moloney Picks and Prediction
We’re looking for more value than backing Nakatani at -450, so we’re picking him to win via decision.
He should have the edge over his opponent, and although Nakatani to win by knockout is the -120 favorite, we think there is better value with the +200 to win on points.
The Nakatani is listed at -450 in our Vegas Boxing lines. This means that if you wager $100 on Nakatani, you have a chance to win $22. The Moloney is +325, offering a chance to win $325 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives Nakatani an 81.82% chance to win, with Moloney at 23.53%.