Tanaka weathers knockdown, stops Saludar in six to retain title

Kosei-Tanaka-vs-Saludar-jiji-press-getty Credit:  Photo by JIJI PRESS – Getty Images –

WBO strawweight titleholder Kosei Tanaka overcame a fifth-round knockdown to stop Filipino challenger Vic Saludar in round six at the Aichi Prefectural Gym in Nagoya, Japan, on New Year’s Eve.

The 25-year-old Saludar (11-2, 9 knockouts) was ahead by the tallies of 50-44 on two scorecards and 49-45 on the third, according to a copy of the cards posted on the Facebook page of Saludar’s promotional company, ALA Promotions.

That was all erased when Tanaka, THE RING’s No. 4 fighter at 105 pounds and an economics student at Chukyo University, dropped Saludar for the 10 count in round six with a left hook to the body. The time of stoppage was 2:15.

The win was the first defense of the WBO title which Tanaka (6-0, 3 KOs) won in May with a unanimous decision over Julian Yedras. Tanaka, 20, told RING earlier this week that he intended to move up in weight in the future.