Nakatani won the title in January when he narrowly out pointed compatriot Yoshitaka Kato in a real coming of age bout. In his first defense Nakatani over-came the determined effort of Japanese based-Filipino challenger Ricky Sismundo, AKA Harada Mondo, though it was clear that whilst talented Nakatani wasn't ready to begin mixing with major international opponents, despite being ranked in the top 15 by the WBC.
It appears that the Ioka Gym, which manages Nakatani, has decided to keep him defending his OPBF title and gaining valuable experience before moving up and as a result they have got him a fight with the #14 ranked OPBF challenger.
Being ranked #14 by the OPBF sounds relatively disappointing though it does need to be noted that Nakatani has already beaten the #1 and #2 fighters whilst the #3 ranked fighter, Sukkasem Kietyongyuth, was recently battered by Ik Yang. We'll admit we'd have preferred to have seen Nakatani fighting someone like Ik Yang but this isn't a terrible bout for the unbeaten man. Usami has shown solid power on the Japanese domestic scene and his only loss did come above the Lightweight limit in a very close contest with Kazuya Murata.
This fight will be the headline bout at the upcoming "Real Spirits" show to be held at Central Gym in Kobe. At the moment the full details on the card haven't yet been announced though with this march-up we've got to admit we're excited about the show.
(Japanese guide-Masayoshi Nakatani = "中谷 正義"
Futoshi Usami= "宇佐美 太志")