Exciting Japanese Lightweight Masayoshi Nakatani (9-0, 5) might only be a boxing baby but he already has his eyes set on world honours. The OPBF champion, who defends his title later today against Accel Sumiyoshi (4-3-1, 1), might not be much of a name internationally but he's a fighter with big dreams, a lot of talent and the ambition to chase his dreams.
Earlier today he was quoted in the Japanese press as expressing a desire to challenge compatriot Takahiro Ao (27-3-1, 12), if Ao can bring the WBO Lightweight title back to Japan in May.
Ao will be fighting against tough Mexican Raymundo Beltran (29-7-1, 17) on May 1st in Las Vegas in a bout for the vacant title. For Ao that will be a chance to become a 3-weight world champion, the third in Teiken's history and for Nakatani it seems his best chance of getting a shot this year would be against Ao.
Of course there are a number of fighters who will be trying to ruin that for Nakatani. First there is Sumiyoshi, who he fights in a few hours time. Whilst Sumiyoshi isn't an exceptional fighter he's also not an opponent that a fighter should over-look. Then there uis Beltran who will be hoping to win a world title at the 3rd time of asking having been controversially held to a draw by Ricky Burns and then being completely out classed by Terrence Crawford. Then there is Britain's Terry Flanagan (27-0, 10) who is expected to get the first shot at the winner of the Ao-Beltran fight and American Juan Diaz (40-4, 19), who was supposed to get the fight with Ao before suffering an injury.
Although Nakatani probably will have to wait for his world title shot it's fair to say he is showing the signs of a world champion in the making and his OPBF title victory last year over Yoshitaka Kato really was the sort of win that not only showed his character but also helped him developed. If he continues winning it's almost certain that he will be getting a shot at the top sooner rather than later, regardless of Ao's result.
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