Ioka Gym's very promising Masayoshi Nakatani, one of our favourite young prospects, will be kicking off 2014 with the biggest fight of his career as he takes on Yoshitaka Kato for the OPBF Lightweight title.
The unbeaten Nakatani sports an excellent 6-0 (5) record which includes a notable, and very impressive, stoppage of Shuhei Tsuchiya. Aside from the victory over Tsuchiya there is little of real note on his ledger though as he shares a gym with both Kazuto Ioka and Ryo Miyazaki it's fair to say he has shared a ring with world level fighters.
Whilst Nakatani has a true punchers reputation it's fair to say that Kato is more likely to use his experience. With a record of 26-4-1 (7) Kato has more than 5 times as many bouts as his challenger. More telling than just the raw numbers is the fact that Kato is a both the Japanese and OPBF champion and has already fought in 8 title fights, winning 7 of those.
This contest, scheduled for January 11th, is one that has whet our appetite for 2014 already. Sure we were hoping that Nakatani was going to be on the Ioka show scheduled for December 31st but who cares about waiting 12 extra days to see a bout of this quality?
On the same show we also expect to see Yukinori Oguni fighting Yuki Fujimoto. We're hoping to see Oguni back to his best though we dare say we think he'll still be feeling the mental effects of the stoppage loss to Shingo Wake, who we think has the potential to grab a world title at some point.
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