Kazuto Ioka has retained his WBO Junior Bantamweight title in an absolute war with Kosei Tanaka in the final title fight of the year.

The pair slugged it out but the 31-year-old Ioka showed just why he is the champ having won in an eighth round TKO as he knocked Tanaka out on his feet.

Tanaka had been knocked down twice before in the fifth and sixth round but a massive left hook left the challenger in la la land as Ioka defended his title for the second time.

Both men came into the fight as world title winners at multiple weights with the 25-year-old Tanaka fighting to become the fastest fighter to win four weight divisions have held the WBO mini-flyweight title from 2015 to 2016, the WBO junior-flyweight title from 2016 to 2017 and the WBO flyweight title.

Incredibly, he still has seven more fights to beat Oscar de la Hoya’s record but his 15-0 record now has its first loss.

Tanaka was a massive favorite in the fight but despite both men copping punishment, it was Ioka who withstood best, with three brutal knockdowns from left hooks giving him the belt.

Ioka for the knockout was at 6-1 odds according to Fox boxing reporter Mike Ortega which was stunning for the defending champ.

Ioka has trod the ground ahead of Tanaka, having won the mini-flyweight, light-flyweight, flyweight and super flyweight titles.

It appeared an even fight to start off with both men dishing out punishment, but late in the fifth, Ioka hit Tanaka with a right before coming over the top with what the commentator called “a picture perfect” left hook that floored the challenger.

In the sixth, another left hook left Tanaka on the canvas again as he went looking for the KO as Ioka smelled blood.

With his back against the wall, Tanaka came out swinging to finish the round.

He swung until the end with Ioka waiting for the right time before his left knock Tanaka out only to be caught by the referee.

By Andrew McMurtry, news.com.au

After weeks talks and murmurs news broke today that UK specialist boxing channel Boxnation, along with Premier Sports, would be airing the WBO Junior Bantamweight world title bout between defending champion Kazuto Ioka (25-2, 14) [井岡一翔] and unbeaten challenger Kosei Tanaka (15-0, 9) [田中恒成].

The bout, which will be aired live from Tokyo, will have English language commentary provided by the fantastic Corey Erdman.

For US fans there is still no confirmed TV deal, but for British fans this gives them an English language option to go alongside the Japanese option given by TBS.

via AsianBoxing.info

WBO World Champions Kosei Tanaka, Kazuto Iok, Miyo Yoshida successfully kept a grip on their respective crowns during the annual Japanese title fest to bring in 2020.

WBO Flyweight World Champion Tanaka, for his part, dominated and halted Wulan Tuolehazi to defend his title. Tanaka proved too powerful and ended the fight in the third round. Tanaka is now 15-0 and has already won world straps in three weight divisions. The Tuolehazi victory adds to Tanaka’s victories over Jonathan Gonzalez and Ryoichi Taguchi. It caps another fine year for the rising star.

WBO Jr. Bantamweight World Champion Ioka made it two wins on the spin with a unanimous decision triumph over Jeyvier Cintron. A close and competitive contest ended with Ioka gaining the W 116-112 twice and 115-113 on the scorecards. Boasting a record of 25-2 and himself a four-weight ruler, Ioka has only been defeated at the very top level.

WBO Female Jr. Bantamweight World Champion Miyo Yoshida dominated China’s Li Ping Shi to push to 14-1 record. Scorecards: 97-92, 99-91, 98-90.

Jhunriel Ramonal picked up the vacant World Boxing Organisation Asia Pacific Jr. Featherweight Title after defeating Yusaku Kuga in the very first round.

WBO Asia Pacific Mini-Flyweight Champion Ginjiro Shigeoka improved to 5-0 by stopping former world champion and veteran Rey Loreto in five rounds.

via www.worldboxingnews.net

The weigh-in ceremony of the year-end world title tripleheader took place today (Monday) at Shingawa Prince Hotel, where the results were as follows:

WBO Junior Bantamweight title

Kazuto Ioka (Japan) 115 vs. Jeyvier Cintron (Puerto Rico) 114.75

WBO Flyweight title

Kosei Tanaka (Japan) 112 vs. Wulan Tuolehazi (China) 112

WBO Female Junior Bantamweight title

Miyo Yoshida (Japan) 114.75 vs. Li-Ping Shi (China) 112.25

The officials thereof were announced by the JBC (Japan Boxing Commission), as follows:

Ioka vs. Cintron
Referee Tony Weeks (US); judges Wes Melton (US), Julio Cesar Alvarado (Panama), Philip Austin (Australia); supervisor Leon Panoncillo (US)

Tanaka vs. Wulan
Referee Jose Rivera (Puerto Rico); judges Hernando Steidel (Puerto Rico); Julio Cesar Alvarado (Panama), Sawaeng Thaweekoon (Thailand); supervisor Tsuyoshi Yasukochi (Japan)

Referee Jose Rivera (Puerto Rico); Wes Melton (US), Sawaeng Thaweekoon (Thailand), Philip Austin (Australia); Leon Panoncillo (US)

This show is presented by Watanabe Promotions in association with Hatanaka Promotions. The main event of the Ioka-Cintron bout will be shown nationwide through TBS Television at 6:00 PM on Tuesday (New Year’s Eve) here in Japan.

By Joe Koizumi / Fightnews.com

💥TONIGHT December 28th – Vacant WBO NABO Jr. Featherweight Championship: Angelo Leo Vs. César Juarez @ State Farm Arena, Atlanta, Georgia.

💥Five WBO Bouts on December 31st @ Ota-City General Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan:

Main Event – WBO Jr. Bantamweight World Champion Kazuto Ioka Vs. Jeyvier Cintron

Co-Main Event – WBO Flyweight World Champion Kosei Tanaka Vs. Wulan Tuolehazi

WBO Jr. Bantamweight Female World Champion Miyo Yoshida Vs. Li Ping Shi

Vacant WBO Asia Pacific Jr. Featherweight Championship: Yusaku Kuga vs. Jhunriel Ramonal

WBO Mini-Flyweight Asia Pacific Champion Ginjiro Shigeoka Vs. Rey Loreto

💥January 10, 2020 – For vacant WBO Jr. Middleweight Female Championship Claressa Shields Vs. Ivana Habazin @ Ocean Resort Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA.

💥January 11, 2020 – Vacant NABO Light Heavyweight Championship title Jesse Hart vs. Joe Smith, Jr. @ Mark G Etess Arena, Atlantic City, NJ.

💥January 18, 2020 – Vacant WBO Intercontinental Light Heavyweight Eleider Alvarez vs. Michael Seals @ Turning Stone Resort Casino, Verona, NY

Also, WBO Asia Pacific Jr. Middleweight Champion Takeshi Inoue Vs. Cheng Su @ Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan.

💥January 30, 2020 – WBO Middleweight World Champion Demetrius Andrade Vs. Luke Keeler @ Meridian at Island Gardens, Miami, Florida.

💥February 1, 2020 – Unified WBO Jr. Welterweight Champion José Ramirez Vs. Viktor Postol @ Mission Hills Haikou, Haikou, China.

💥February 20, 2020 – WBO NABO Jr. Welterweight Champion Yomar Alamo Vs. Kendo Castaneda @ Osceola Heritage Park, Kissimmee, Florida.

💥February 20, 2020 – Vacant WBO European Featherweight Championship David Oliver Joyce Vs. Lee Haskins @ Ulster Hall, Belfast.

More to come…

On New Year’s Eve, in the penultimate world title bout of the decade, WBO Flyweight champion Kosei Tanaka (14-0, 8) [田中恒成] will take on Chinese challenger Wulan Tuolehazi (13-3-1, 6) [乌兰]. Today the two men met for the first time, and took part in a face-off at Haneda Airport. Fight venue: Ota-City General Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan

Tanaka, who headed over to Tokyo from Nagoya especially for the event, spoke to the press and stated that it was good to have such an exciting event to finish the year.

Wulan, who is fighting in Japan for the second time, explained that Tanaka is a great fighter, but added that he was confident and would do everything he could to win.

The men faced off, without breaking away, for around 30 seconds, in what was an intense stare down.

The two men also took part in the ceremonial contract signing, that we often see done in Japan in the week of a fight, often on the week of a world title fight.

Via AsianBoxing.info
Photo headlines.yahoo.co.jp

WBO Convention Awards at Gala Dinner in Tokyo, Japan

In a festive atmosphere, the WBO 32nd Annual Convention celebrated their Awards in a very crowded Gala Dinner at the Tokyo Dome Hotel.

WBO Boxer of The Year:
Unified WBO Lightweight Champion Vasiliy Lomachenko

WBO Female Boxer of the Year:
7 Division World Champion and WBO Super Champion Amanda Serrano

WBO Most Consistent and Durable Champion:
WBO Welterweight World Champion Terence Crawford

Special Recognition to Japan Pro Boxing Association Lifetime President
2-Division Champion of the World Fighting Harada

Special WBO Diamond Ring for more than five title defenses:

WBO Flyweight World Champion Kosei Tanaka

WBO Manager of the Year:
Egis Klimas

WBO Trainer of the Year
Anatoly Lomachenko

WBO Promoter of the Year
Bob Arum (Top Rank)

WBO 2019 Fight of Year
Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz I

WBO Outstanding Achievement as a Boxer
Former WBO Jr. Bantamweight Champion and current IBF/WBA Bantamweight World Champion Naoya Inoue

Personal Overcoming Achievement
WBO Mini-Flyweight World Champion Wilfredo ‘Bimbito’ Méndez

Special Recognitions to:
Promoter Akihiko Honda, Kazuto Ioka, Jorge Linares, Iván Calderón, Istvan ‘koko’ Kovacs, Acelino ‘Popo’ Freitas, Donnie Nietes, and Matchroom Boxing.

Among the prominent participants were the Italian Premier promoter, Salvatore Cherchi, the Miami, Florida promoter, Felix “Tutico” Zabala, the legendary Japanese matchmaker and “hall of famer”, Joe Koizumi, the Kazakh promoters, Kalikhan Akdrashev and Nurshin Tanat ( Suleimen Promotions), the Japanese promoter, Shingo Suzuki, the German matchmaker, Christof Haverkamp (SES Boxing), the international promoter and Matchmaker, Sean Gibbons (and Sherriff Woody), the Russian leader, Kirill Shchekutyev, the German promoter, Erol Ceylan the American promoter, Dino Duva, the Ukrainian promoter, Alexander Krassyuk (K2 Promotions Ukraine), the American promoter, Tom Loeffler, the English promoter, Francis Warren (Queensberry Promotions), the English matchmaker, Jason McClory (Queensberry Promotions), the German promoter Ulf Steinforth (SES Boxing) and the American promoter Carl Moretti (Top Rank).

Next year’s WBO Convention will take place in the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Photo Inoue/Lomachenko by Naoki Fukuda

☑️Upcoming WBO World Title Bouts:

💥November 30 – Undisputed WBO Welterweight Female Champion Cecilia Braekhus Vs. Victoria Noelia Bustos @ Casino de Monte Carlo Salle Medecin, Monte Carlo, Monaco.

💥November 30 – WBO Bantamweight World Champion Zolani Tete Vs. John Riel Casimero @ Arena Birmingham, Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom.

💥December 7 – Unified WBO Heavyweight Champion Andy Ruiz Vs. Anthony Joshua @ Diriyah Arena, Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.

💥December 7 – WBO Jr. Featherweight World Champion Emanuel Navarrete Vs. Francisco Horta @ Auditorio GNP Seguros, Puebla, Mexico.

💥December 14 – WBO Welterweight World Champion Terence Crawford Vs. Egidijus Kavaliauskas @ Madison Square Garden, New York, USA.

💥December 14 – WBO Jr. Flyweight Female Champion Tenkai Tsunami Vs. Jessebelle Pagaduan @ Uchinoura Ginga Arena, Kimotsuki -cho, Kagoshima, Japan.

💥December 31 – WBO Jr. Bantamweight Female World Champion Miyo Yoshida Vs. Li Ping Shi @ Ota-City General Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan.

💥December 31 – WBO Flyweight World Champion Kosei Tanaka Vs. Wulan Tuolehazi @ Ota-City General Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan.

💥December 31 – WBO Jr. Bantamweight World Champion Kazuto Ioka Vs. Jeyvier Cintron @ Ota-City General Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan.

💥January 10, 2020 – For vacant WBO Jr. Middleweight Female Championship Claressa Shields Vs. Ivana Habazin @ Ocean Resort Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA.

💥February 1, 2020 – Unified Jr. Welterweight Champion Jose Ramirez Vs. Viktor Postol @ Mission Hills Haikou, Haikou, China.

<p> bet.co.za app is an online betting site with a lot of South African users. It is famous for many reasons, including the fact that it was the first online betting site in Africa. When you think about betting websites like bet365, they are usually associated with Europe and North America; not South Africa.</p>

Earlier today WBO Flyweight champion Kosei Tanaka (14-0, 8) [田中恒成] held a special press conference to announce that he would fight again this year, making another defense of his WBO world title in December.

The talented and well regarded youngster, who has already beaten Ryoichi Taguchi and Jonathan Gonzalez in 2019, announced that he would be up against in form Chinese fighter Wulan Tuolehazi (13-3-1, 6) [乌兰] on New Year’s Eve at the Ota City Gymnasium. And would be sharing a card with Kazuto Ioka (24-2, 14) [井岡一翔], who defends the WBO Super Flyweight against mandatory challenger Jeyvier Cintron (10-1-0-1, 5) on the same show.

The talented Japanese youngster, who is already a 3 weight world champion, stated that he wanted to win by KO, though it was clear his team were wary about Tuolehazi, who has been a thorn in the side of Japanese boxers recently.

The Chinese challenger has been on a tear since a 2-3 start to his professional career and is 3-0-1 (2) against Japanese fighters, with wins against Takeshi Kaneko, Ryota Yamauchi and Satoshi Tanaka. He’s not the most skilled of fighters out there, but he’s awkward, strong and tough, and also holds a notable win over Jayr Raquinel.

Whilst Tuolehazi has been on a roll this is will be only his second fight outside of China. Interestingly it will also be Tanaka’s first world title bout in Tokyo, ​and sees him fight in the Kanto region for the first time in more than 5 years, having previously won the OPBF title in Tokyo in 2014 against Ryuji Hara.

One other interesting sub story here is the fact Tanaka has previously spoke about facing Ioka in the future, and this show could serve as a launchpad for that potential showdown in 2020, or whenever Tanaka moves up in weight, which is expected to be sooner rather than later.


Puerto Rico’s Jonathan Gonzalez gave Kosei Tanaka fits for a while in today’s WBO flyweight title fight in Nagoya, Japan, but the home fighter found the sweet spot and poured on the body work for a seventh round stoppage, retaining his 112-pound title.

Tanaka (14-0, 8 KO) had clear problems with the southpaw style and quick feet of Gonzalez (22-3-1, 13 KO) in the first couple of rounds, but dropped the visiting challenger with a body shot in the third. Gonzalez, though, was undeterred, and scored a questionable knockdown of his own, landing a cuffing left hand that landed on the back of Tanaka’s neck, which was ruled a knockdown.

Gonzalez kept boxing effectively and neutering much of Tanaka’s offense in the fifth round, but Tanaka started finding the body again a bit in the sixth, setting up a monster seventh round where he dropped Gonzalez three times, forcing a stoppage by referee Celestino Ruiz. It has to be said that Gonzalez got up every single time, despite obvious pain, and on the final two times he rose from the canvas, the Japanese fans reacted with genuine shock and admiration for his toughness.

Still, the fight being stopped when it was was fair enough — Gonzalez probably could have continued on, but Tanaka had flipped the switch and was mowing him down, living up to his status as the man widely considered the top 112-pound fighter in boxing today.

Via www.badlefthook.com
Photo by Andre Ueda

However much longer Kosei Tanaka chooses to remain at flyweight, he can officially look forward to at least one more title defense.

The unbeaten three-division and reigning 112-pound titlist made weight for Saturday’s mandatory title fight versus Puerto Rico’s Jonathan ‘Bomba’ Gonzalez. Both boxers came in right at the 112-pound limit for the bout, which takes place at Takeda Teva Ocean Arena in Tanaka’s hometown of Nagoya, Japan.

Tanaka (13-0, 7KOs) will attempt the second defense of the flyweight crown he claimed in this very venue 11 months ago. The former strawweight and junior flyweight titlist prevailed in a scorching 12-round win over Sho Kimura last September, which was rightly hailed by BoxingScene.com and several other outlets as the 2018 Fight of the Year.

It also placed the 24-year old rising star in the record books. The three-division title heist in just 12 pro bouts matched the record-establishing feat by WBO Unified Champion Vasiliy Lomachenko just five months prior, although there remains room to potentially one-up the Ukrainian wunderkind.

Saturday’s bout versus Gonzalez (22-2-1, 13KOs) could be his last as a flyweight, as rumors have swirled of Tanaka eventually moving up in weight.

Catching his eye is a mouth-watering in-country clash with future Hall of Fame four-division titlist Kazuto Ioka, who is currently negotiating terms for a 115-pound mandatory title defense versus unbeaten Puerto Rico-bred contender Jeyvier Cintron.

Before that plays out, both have significant business in front of them.

Gonzalez travels to Japan for the first time in his career, along with gunning for his first major title. The 28-year old southpaw enters riding a four-fight win streak, including a 10-round win over Julian Yedras—whom Tanaka defeated for his first major title at strawweight more than four years ago.

The bout will air live on CBC and TBS in Japan. External markets can watch via livestream on RingTV.com, beginning at 2:00am ET/11:00pm PT with a scheduled 10-round flyweight bout between Tanaka stablemate Kento Hatakana (9-0, 9KOs) and Philippines’ Jaysever Abcede (19-8, 12KOs).

By Jake Donovan / BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

Puerto Rican Jonathan “Bomba” Gonzalez, the mandatory challenger against WBO flyweight titlist Kosei Tanaka, arrived in Nagoya, Japan, on Saturday, when there were many press people and cameramen welcoming the southpaw challenger.

Our first impression was his size with a 5’2” height, which might mean his speed and agility since he had acquired some important world youth championship medals prior to his entry into the paid ranks. Bomba (22-2-1-1NC, 13 KOs), 28, is the son of his father/manager/trainer and formerly two-time Golden Glove flyweight winner, Luis Gonzalez.

Bomba confidently said upon his arrival at the airport, “I believe I’m faster than Tanaka. I will outspeed him and wrest his WBO belt to bring it back to Puerto Rico without doubt.”

Their highly expected confrontation will take place next Saturday at the Takeda Teva Ocean Arena, Nagoya, where Kosei, during his reign as WBO 108-pound champ, defeated previously unbeaten Puerto Rican challenger Angel Acosta on a unanimous decision by decking the unblemished KO artist in May, 2017. Acosta is now the WBO junior flyweight titleholder.

The promoter Kiyoshi Hatanaka, former WBC 122-pound titlist, smiled at Bomba’s great confidence and eloquence as well. We look forward to watching very fast eye-catching rallies of the speedsters.

Report, Photo by Joe Koizumi / fightnews.com

Kosei Tanaka vs. Jonathan Gonzalez in Play For August 24

According to the agenda of the Japan Boxing Commission, there will be a world title clash on August 24 at Takeda Teva Ocean Arena in the city of Nagoya, the capital of the province of Aich, where the unbeaten world champion of the World Boxing Organization (WBO), Kosei Tanaka (13-0, 7 KOs), will make a second defense of his title against the WBO top rated challenger Jonathan “Bomba” González (22-2-1, 13 KOs).

Tanaka says “I intend to win by KO by resorting to my fast style of boxing.”

The Japanese punches has not scored a knockout since March of last year.

Tanaka was crowned the WBO flyweight king in August 2018 in the city of Nagoya by defeating Sho Kimura by decision in a wild twelve round war.

His most recent fight was in the city of Gifu, in March, when he made a successful first defense by imposing himself to get a decision over former WBA Ryoichi Taguchi.

After the second defense against Gonzalez, Tanaka could go up to super flyweight in search of his fourth world title according to the boxer’s manager Kiyoshi Hatanaka, the president of Hatanaka Boxing Gym.

Gonzalez won his last four bouts in a row, after stopping Juan Alejo in his last fight back in November 2018.

Via Hisao Adachi / boxingscene.com

Back at the end of April we reported that the WBO had given their Flyweight champion Kosei Tanaka (13-0, 7) [田中恒成] and 28 year old Puerto Rican Jonathan Gonzalez (22-2-1, 13) 30 days to negotiate a deal for a mandatory world title fight.

That 30 day period was expected to result in a deal being made, with the teams though to have been close to securing a deal before the order was even made.

Today a deal for the bout has been announced!

The Hanatanaka gym, lead by former world champion Kiyoshi Hatanaka, held a press conference earlier today to announce that the Tanaka Vs Gonzalez bout was a done deal for August 24th at the Takeda Teva Ocean Arena in Nagoya, the same venue that Tanaka won the title last September with a win over Sho Kimura.

For Tanaka, a 3-weight world champion, the bout serves as his second defense of the title, following the previous mentioned win in September, and comes on the back of a commanding win over Ryoichi Taguchi in March. As for Gonzalez this will be his first world title fight, and his first bout in Asia, following bouts in a number of American countries.

​It’s worth noting that the challenger will be one of the first southpaws that Tanaka has faced during his professional career, though his team and especially his father, showed no worries given that Tanaka faced a number of southpaws in the amateur ranks.

The bout will air on CBC, but specifics in regards to time haven’t yet been confirmed. We’re hoping that we’ll be able to continue our working relationship with the channel to be able to bring you a live, legal stream to the bout in August.

Photo 暁 Honma 暁 www.bbm-japan.com
via http://www.asianboxing.info/asian-news/kosei-tanaka-to-defend-wbo-title-on-august-24th

Kosei Tanaka (13-0, 7 KO) held on to his WBO Flyweight title with an outstanding win over Ryoichi Taguchi, winning on unanimous decision scores of 117-111, 117-111, and 119-109.

It was a far more entertaining fight than you might suspect on a glance at the scores, competitive throughout and 36 minutes of pretty blistering action. Taguchi (27-4-2, 12 KO) gave a great performance himself, but was just a bit outgunned against the younger man, as the 23-year-old Tanaka generally beat him to the punch and did more damage, though Taguchi, 32, did rock Tanaka a bit in the third round, which was his best of the fight.

The hits kept coming on through the 12th and final round. The outcome was never particularly in doubt, but Taguchi also never gave up on the fight, and the respect shown by Tanaka after it was over spoke volumes.

Tanaka is a three-division titleholder already, having won belts at 105 and 108 before his 112-pound title win over Sho Kimrura last September. He’s one of the best young fighters in the sport right now.

The loss is Taguchi’s second in a row, following a defeat in May of last year against Hekkie Budler, who took Taguchi’s 108-pound title, which he had held since 2014.

Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images


Unbeaten WBO three weight class champion Kosei Tanaka (12-0, 7 KOs), 23, of Japan, will participate in his supposedly toughest bout in his career as he will put his WBO flyweight belt on the line against grudge rival, former WBA 108-pound titlist, compatriot Ryoichi Taguchi (27-3-2, 12 KOs), 32, tomorrow (Saturday) in Gifu city, Japan.

When both of them were light-flyweight champs two years ago, the WBO ruler Tanaka sustained an optic injury to have the unification title bout with Taguchi, then the WBA titleholder, cancelled despite people’s great expectations. Time has come for Tanaka to wipe off a disgrace that some people then castigated him for his alleged escape from his showdown with Taguchi.

They participated in a weigh-in ceremony at the CBC Television hall today with each tipping the beam at the same 112-pound class limit.

The WBO officials are as follows: Referee Steve Willis (US); judges Rose Lacend (US), Hernando Steidel (Puerto Rico), Takeo Harada (Japan); supervisor Tsuyoshi Yasukochi (Japan).

Taguchi, an inch and a half taller than the enfant terrible, successfully kept his WBA 108-pound belt on seven occasions to his credit before his forfeiture of the diadem at the hand of South African Hekkie Budler partly due to his severe reduction of weight in May of the previous year. He decided to move up to the 112-pound category, and then it was Tanaka’s manager/promoter and ex-WBC 122-pound champ Kiyoshi Hatanaka that made an offer to Taguchi’s handler Hitoshi Watanabe for a well-received grudge fight. Tanaka outgrew the flyweight division earlier than Taguchi, and captured the WBO belt by edging defending titlist Sho Kimura in the Fight of the Year last September. This will be Tanaka’s initial defense of his WBO belt.

Fight fans outside of Japan will be able to watch this sensational encounter LIVE with the following FREE streaming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0N1dbnw698

The Tanaka-Taguchi title bout will start at 4 pm Japanese Time, telecast live nationwide through CBC/TBS.

By Joe Koizumi / Fightnews.com
Photos: Naoki Fukuda

Three-weight world champion Kosei Tanaka will put his WBO flyweight crown on the line for the first time when he faces countryman Ryoichi Taguchi at the Memorial Center in Gifu, Japan on Saturday.

Tanaka, who is ranked No. 2 by The Ring at 112 pounds, previously held WBO straps at 105 and 108 before unseating Sho Kimura in one of the best fights of 2018 by hard-fought majority decision last September.

That win saw him equal Vasiliy Lomachenko’s record of becoming a three-weight world champion in 12 fights. Now the 23-year-old is looking forward to his next challenge.

“I am pleased that we have a big flyweight fight for Japanese boxing fans as well as for boxing fans around the world,” Tanaka told The Ring through Marivic Kamiyama.

“As his opponent becomes more aggressive and powerful, Taguchi also shows his power to them. He punches well, has impressive stamina and his jab is good.”

Tanaka and Taguchi had been scheduled to meet on the now customary New Year’s Eve show at the end of 2017 when both held junior flyweight titles. Terms had been agreed but both men had to first win interim fights.

While both did, Tanaka suffered a double eye-socket injury against the unheralded Palangpol CP Freshmart, curtailing the intriguing unification bout.

However, being unable to face Taguchi stuck with Tanaka and he is pleased to honor the initial agreement now.

“I felt we had unfinished business, I felt responsible about it [not happening],” he said. “The position and rank have also changed, and it is a different fight from that time, but I am pleased we are fighting.”

Taguchi, who is currently ranked No. 3 by The Ring at 108 pounds, will be stepping up to flyweight for the first time.

The 32-year-old edged Milan Melindo to add the IBF crown to his WBA belt and also won the vacant Ring 108-pound championship in December 2017. He lost his titles to Hekkie Budler last May, who was then dethroned by Taguchi’s stablemate Hiroto Kyoguchi.

Tanaka has mostly prepared in Nagoya although he did travel to Thailand in January for sparring. He says he focused mainly on his fundamentals and getting himself in a happy frame of mind ahead of what is expected to be a close fight.

While much is made of Tanaka’s achievements in the west among hardcore boxing fans, he is taking everything in his stride.

“I am choosing the best (weight) class according to the growth of my body,” he explained. “Multiple class domination is not a big goal. I think that we will win world titles in five different weight classes, but the goal has not been set by myself yet.”

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at elraincoat@live.co.uk and you can follow him on Twitter @AnsonWainwright


One of the best bouts of the year!

CBC proudly announces the streaming of the bout

for free on http://www.asianboxing.info/ worldwide*.

WBO World Flyweight Title Match

Kosei Tanaka (WBO Flyweight Champion) VS Ryoichi Taguchi (WBO #4 Flyweight)

Date March 16th from 16:00 (Japan time)

*For domestic audiences, the program will be available on TBS Network 28 channels.

Kosei Tanaka became the quickest fighter to become a 3 weight world champion, doing so in his 12th professional, bout last September. The bout with Sho Kimura was wild and Kosei won the title by a hair. The bout itself was chosen as the WBO’s Best Fight of 2018, and was widely regarded as one of the best fights of the year by independent publications, and was a great opportunity for Kosei to show his exciting style to boxing fans all over the world.

Kosei had been keen to face Ryoichi Taguchi, who won WBA Light Flyweight Champion, for years. The best chance came in 2017 however plans were cancelled due to Kosei suffering a serious injury in September that year. During Kosei’s time recovering from his injury, Ryoichi defeated Milan Melindo on new year’s eve 2017 and became Japan’s most recent unified champion, adding the IBF title to his collection.

Since then, Ryoichi has lost the Light Flyweight belts and now is heading to the Flyweight division, and the WBO title. Kosei says the bout with Ryoichi is “destiny” and he states the fight will be his best bout.

 As a boxer from the Chubu region, CBC supports Kosei from his debut. Our mission is to build his fan base from different countries and we strongly hope the streaming will increase expose between Kosei and his fans living in a variety of countries.

As well as the fantastic main event, the undercard will also be streamed to an international audience. This gives fight fans a chance to see not only the brightest talent in the Chubu region but also other emerging talents like Kento Hatanaka and Konshin Takeshima, who between them have scored 9 wins, all by knockout, and former Japanese Youth champion Takuya Mizuno.

We greatly thank Asianboxing.info, their representative Scott Graveson and all writers on Asianboxing.info, who cooperate with us from Kosei’s last bout with Sho Kimura.

Last year we had the honour of being the streaming partner, in association with CBC, for the WBO Flyweight title bout between Kosei Tanaka (12-0, 7) [田中恒成] and Sho Kimura (17-2-2, 10) [木村翔].

Today that very bout has been announced as the Best Fight at the Japanese boxing awards, which were held at the Tokyo Dome Hotel.

The bout was an incredible 12 round battle that gained international respect for the none-stop action and the fantastic skills, toughness and heart of both men. It was none-stop action and proved to be something that put both men on the map internationally.

Today the two fighters posed happily with each other for photographs, explained that a friendship had grown and looked like men with real respect for each other whilst being honoured for their incredible bout.

Article via http://www.asianboxing.info/asian-news/tanaka-and-kimura-win-best-fight-kimura-eyes-spring-return

Photo credit: Naoki Fukuda

By Thomas Gerbasi

On paper, it may look easy. Three titles in three weight classes in 12 fights, all at the age of 23. But that’s not the way it’s gone for Kosei Tanaka, who had visited the deck twice and gone through hell with Rangsan Chayanram en route to his perfect record. And that was all before he earned that third title and 12th win on September 24.

He should have expected 12 rounds of hell when he was matched against WBO flyweight champion Sho Kimura. And if he didn’t, he got it anyway, with the result being BoxingScene’s 2018 Fight of the Year.

Like the 2006 Fight of the Year between Somsak Sithchatchawal and Mayhar Monshipour, this was one for the diehards, the folks who have no problem getting up at four in the morning to watch a prizefight. Often, that dedication goes unrewarded. In this case, it was worth any lost sleep as two fighters in different segments of their careers combined for a special bout that was a reminder of all that is good in the sport.

With the surprisingly raucous crowd at Takeda Teva Ocean Arena in Nagoya firmly in the corner of their unbeaten local hero, Tanaka tried to set the tone early with rapid-fire jabs and quick combinations. Kimura, despite having just 21 pro bouts at the age of 30, is the definition of grizzled vet, and he tried to make it a fight, digging in with body punches as the two stood in the pocket.

The pocket was where the fight stayed for most of the 12 rounds. No battles in the corner or along the ropes, virtually no need for referee Mark Nelson to get involved. Tanaka and Kimura were determined to take care of their own business, clinches replaced by forehead to forehead breaks where they briefly recharged for the next exchange.

And though Tanaka held the edge early on, even staggering Kimura late in the second round, Kimura refused to give ground, and he just kept throwing punches. The grind suited Kimura, while Tanaka tried different approaches to keep his foe at bay. In the fourth, the hometown favorite sat down on his punches, and swelling began to show on the champion’s face, but he was undeterred.

A look at Tanaka between rounds saw a young man who knew he was in a fight, and with several frames to go, it had to be a daunting prospect to know his night was far from over. Yet by round six, Tanaka made the adjustments he needed to, and with lateral movement and slick defense, he found the formula he needed to surge ahead, and entering the championship rounds, he was comfortably ahead.

But championship rounds are presumably when champions show their mettle, and Kimura fought like someone who had no intention of giving his title away. In the 12th, the two teed off on each other with right hands, followed by an emptying of the tank by Kimura, who would ultimately lose his belt by scores of 116-112, 115-113 and 114-114.

It wasn’t Gatti-Ward or Corrales-Castillo in terms of action. The drama was subtle, not obvious. But those who appreciate John Coltrane over Cardi B understood that Tanaka-Kimura was boxing at its best.


Jarrett Hurd-Erislandy Lara
The drama in this unification bout was evident, as it took a 12th round knockdown by Hurd to earn him the split decision win in a fight that confirmed Hurd as the kind of fighter that can make a fight with any opponent exciting.

Murat Gassiev-Yuniel Dorticos
The beauty of the World Boxing Super Series was fights like this one, pitting two unbeatens against each other in a tournament format. Gassiev ultimately put himself in the final against Aleksandr Usyk, but not before getting pushed to the limit by Dorticos until three knockdowns in the last round gave Gassiev the win.

Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin 2
Rematches rarely surpass the original, but Alvarez’ redemptive win over Golovkin after the controversy of the previous year was a fight worth celebrating as the two best middleweights in the world sat in the pocket and played a brand of violent chess that thrilled fans around the globe, even those that didn’t agree with the decision.

Deontay Wilder-Luis Ortiz
The first gut check of Wilder’s career wasn’t Tyson Fury, but Ortiz, who gave the still raw WBC champion all he could handle in March before “The Bronze Bomber” went back to his old reliable power to end the fight with a pair of knockdowns in the tenth round.

Vasyl Lomachenko-Jorge Linares
High-level from start to finish, Lomachenko passed his stiffest test with style, rising from the canvas in the sixth round to halt Linares in the tenth stanza.

Alex Saucedo-Lenny Zappavigna
Saucedo appeared to be cruising to a victory in front of his hometown fans in Oklahoma City in June, dropping game, but seemingly outgunned Lenny Z in the third round. Then Zappavigna hurt and nearly stopped Saucedo in the fourth, and all of a sudden, an instant classic was born, one ultimately won by Saucedo via seventh-round TKO.


WBO Convention Awards / Special Recognitions at Gala

Tonight was the 31st WBO Convention Awards Gala at the Hotel El Panama in Panama City.

WBO Fight of the Year
Sho Kimura vs. Kosei Tanaka

WBO Female Fight of Year
Arely Muciño vs. Maria Salinas

WBO Female Fighter of the Year and Super Champion
Amanda Serrano

KO of The Year
Ángel ‘Tito’ Acosta v. Abraham Rodriguez

WBO Fighter of The Year
Terence Crawford

Upset of The Year
Eleider Alvarez TKO’s Sergey Kovalev

Special Recognition

1. Brian ‘Bo Mac’ McIntyre – Gordy Volkman Award for Outstanding Trainer

2. Eddie Hearn – The New Generation Award for Outstanding Promotions During 2018

3. Masayuki Ito v. Christopher “Pitufo” Díaz – for Outstanding Fight

4. Crawford, Montiel y Tanaka – Triple Crown Award for Winning WBO World Titles in Three Weight Divisions

5. Kosei Tanaka – Super Champion Belt – For Winning WBO World Titles in Three Weight Divisions

6. Promoter of The Year US – Bob Arum

7. Promoter of The Year Europe – Frank Warren

8. De La Hoya – Trailblazer Award for Ground Breaking Fight Series Transmitted Via Facebook Watch

9. Special recognition to Rosa Volante First female WBO World Champion

10. Special recognition Ahikiko Honda promoter Japan

11. Raja Amasheh First Female Fighter World Champion of The Middle East

12. Dariusz Michalczewski 22 titles defenses at Light Heavyweight Division

13. Ivan Calderón – Commitment to the Youth Boxing Program. WBO Two division Champion

14. Acelino Freites – WBOI Two division World Champion

15. Arthur Grigorian – Former WBO World Lightweight Champion who defended his word title 17 times

16. Jaime Munguia – Devasting Knockout Puncher

PANAMA CITY, Panama — The 31st WBO Convention in Panama could not be imagined without a thrilling boxing event, and that is precisely what boxing fans and convention attendees will get on October 31 at the plush Centro de Convenciones Vasco Núñez de Balboa in Hotel El Panamá in Ciudad de Panamá.

The exciting main event is the intriguing battle between unbeaten, promising, young featherweights, Jean Carlos “Chapito” Rivera (15-0, 10 KO’s) of Puerto Rico, and Jason “El Alacrancito” Sánchez (12-0, 6 KO’s) of New México for the vacant WBO World Youth Featherweight crown.

Also, in a battle of experienced world-ranked warriors, José “Páncora” Velásquez (21-6-2, 14 KO’s) of Quellón, Chile, faces tough Yenifel Vicente (33-3-2, 25 KO’s) of the Dominican Republic for the WBO Latino Super Bantamweight belt.

Moreover, unbeaten Argentina fighter “El Avión” Agustín Gauto (9-0, 5 KO’s) climbs up to the square ring to take on skilled world-ranked Nicaraguan former world-title challenger Carlos “Chocorroncito” Buitrago (30-4-1, 17 KO’s) for the vacant WBO Latino 108-pound strap.

In addition, unbeaten world-rated 2-time Olympian Jeyvier Cintrón (8- 0, 4 KO’s) of Bayamón, Puerto Rico, defends his WBO Latino 115-pound title against veteran Ricardo “El Matemático” Nuñez 29-8, 23 KO’s of La Chorrera, Panama, in a 10-rounder battle that promises fireworks.

Furthermore, world-ranked WBO Latino Super Featherweight champion Francisco Fonseca (22-1-1, 16 KO’s) of San Ramón, Costa Rica, makes the second defense of his Latino belt against heavy-handed challenger Yohan Vásquez (21-2, 18 KO’s) of the Dominican Republic.

2-time Olympian Jeyvier Cintrón of Bayamón, Puerto Rico, defends his WBO Latino 115-pound title against Marvin Solano of Managua, Nicaragua


Moreover, two non-stop action-packed 6-rounder preliminary clashes between young Panamanian fighters are set crank up “Copa Cemento Interoceánico.”

Undefeated Jaime Valdespino (3-0, 2 KO’s) of Curundú takes on Eliécer Tenorio (2-2, 1 KO) of La 24 de Diciembre; plus, Edgardo Avila (1 -1, 1 KO) of Ciudad de Panamá squares off hard-hitting José Beitia (3-1-1, 3 KO’s) of David, Chiriquí. Winners will fight each other in the co-main event of next fight card “Box Zona 4” in Panama.

This exciting boxing event during the WBO 31st Convention is a production of Panama promotion company G&V Entertainment in association with PR Best Boxing Promotions of Puerto Rico.

Tickets can be purchased on the day of the event (Oct 31) or by contacting fulltickets.com.

Ticket prices:

Super VIP: $ 125 US Dollars
VIP Area: $ 65 US Dollars
Preferential: $ 25 US Dollars

Panamanian sponsors for this boxing show are:

Cemento Interoceánico 100% Panameño, Cable Onda Sports, Centro Comercial Los Andes Mall; Cerveza Panamá; El Siglo, El Periódico del Pueblo; RPC Radio, Telemetro Radio, Caliente 97.1; Super Q; Arrendadora Económica, No 1 en Alquiler y Venta de Autos; Ambulancia Vive and Radio Station Wao 97.5 FM Panama.

Fights Start at 7 PM.

By Carlos Costa / PhilBoxing

In a month that saw Canelo Alvarez defeat Gennady Golovkin and Anthony Joshua knock out Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium, it was Sho Kimura and Kosei Tanaka who may have stolen the show with what may end up as the best boxing fight of the year.

In an all-action fight that never saw a dull moment, Tanaka captured the WBO Flyweight title with a majority decision win over Kimura. Tanaka won on two of the judges’ scorecards with scores of 116-112 and 115-113 while the third judge had the fight even at 114-114.

Both Kimura and Tanaka wasted zero time getting to the action as the first round had both men throwing dozens of power punches. Tanaka initially overwhelmed Kimura with combinations starting with the left jab and ending it with a big right jab. Tanaka, on the other hand, established an offense that saw him primarily try to take down Kimura with hundreds of body punches and uppercuts.

It was Tanaka who initially had the upper hand, hurting Kimura in the second round with a right jab, but the champion quickly bounced back and continued working the body. Over the course of the next few rounds, Kimura would start breaking down Tanaka with the aforementioned body shots.

Despite getting slowed down just a bit by Kimura’s body shots, Tanaka continued to press forward, still throwing vicious combinations. While Kimura tried to fight Tanaka at close range, the challenger wanted to keep his distance a bit and throw the lead right to Kimura. The fight never slowed down with neither fighter taking a round to rest up or simply play defense. At most, the fight had only a couple of clinches and the referee stopping the action at times with Kimura leaning forward and almost headbutting Tanaka, though no foul was ever committed.

The last couple of rounds saw both fighters still throwing every punch imaginable at each other with both faces swelling up from the constant punishment. In the last round, there was a moment where both men threw a single right jab to each other four straight times simulated which sent the crowd at the Takeda Teva Ocean Arena in Nagoya, Japan in a frenzy. By the end, both men were exhausted and unsure of who won the fight.

Kimura now continues his dominance over the lower weight classes after having won world titles at 105 and 108 pounds. Kimura won the WBO minimumweight title in 2015 in his fifth pro fight and then would hold the WBO light flyweight title from 2016 to 2017, making three total title defense across the two previous world title reigns.

The loss ends Kimura’s reign as the WBO champion at nearly 14 months. Kimura won the title last year in China when he scored a minor upset victory over Zou Shiming when Tanaka managed to stop Shiming in the 11th round despite being down on two of the three judges’ scorecards. After successfully defending the title on the annual Japanese New Year’s boxing supercard, Kimura returned to China last July to knock out Froilan Saludar to retain the title a second time, setting up the showdown with Tanaka.

The 23-year old Tanaka also made history with the victory over Kimura. Tanaka became the third-youngest fighter in history to win a world title in three weight classes behind Tony Canzoneri and Wilfredo Benitez. Tanaka also tied the record set by Vasiliy Lomachenko for winning a title in three divisions in the fewest amounts of pro fights fought at 12.


Photo: http://boxmob.jp

The next world boxing championship fight in Japan will take place on Monday, September 24 at Takeda Teva Ocean Arena in the city of Nagoya, the capital of the province of Aichi, where the Japanese Flyweight world champion of the World Boxing Organization (WBO), the visitor from Tokyo, Sho Kimura (17-1-2 / 10KOs) is going to face the unbeaten Japan’s world # 1 ranked contender and former WBO 105 and 108 pounds world champion Kosei Tanaka (11-0 / 7KOs).

For Sho Kimura, it will be his third title defense, which he conquered in July of 2017 in Shanghai, China, when he defeated by tko in the eleventh round Chinese Shiming Zou, who is a former two-time Olympic champion, and also beat former WBC world champion, and former Olympian Toshiyuki Igarashi through TKO in the ninth round and in his last fight in July 2018 in China, precisely in Qingdao city of Shandong Province, Kimura scored a KO victory in the sixth round over Filipino Froilán Saludar.

Sho Kimura managed to ascend the world throne as the Flyweight king of the WBO in surprise form thanks to his brave and dynamic boxing endowed with endless stamina and durability. It dropped bomb of surprise in world boxing when Sho Kimura ended the reign of Chinese Shiming Zou in China against all expectations. The sports hero of the Chinese people Shimig Zou was victimized by Sho Kimura’s furious attacks.

This occasion, based on his chanting bravery, Sho Kimura is going to defend his title against undefeated local rising double world champion in different divisions Kosei Tanaka, who now calls the powerful intention of Japanese sports journalism to see if this ex-amateur boxer from the city of Nagoya is able to conquer his third world title in his twelfth professional fight to be the world record holder of boxing in order to get faster with less number of fights to become triple world champion in different categories by matching the great Vasyl Lomachenko.

Sho Kimura declares that he will have to finish the fight in high fashion with the attempt of Kosei Tanaka, who is going to throw himself with all surrender to battle with Sho Kimura to defeat him at all costs for the sake of becoming a three-division world champion.

When he was WBO Jr. Flyweight world champion, Kosei Tanaka was able to defend his crown for the first time by defeating by unanimous decision (117-110, 117-110, 116-111) the Puerto Rican Angel “Tito” Acosta, who lost his undefeated, but, now Acosta is the current WBO Jr. Flyweight Champion.

Kosei Tanaka started learning Karate from her childhood as a kinder. When he was the fifth year of elementary school, he started practicing boxing and was a Japanese high school champion.

In 2013, he made the leap to professionalism as a representative of Hatanaka Boxing Gym of Nagoya. His manager-promoter is former world super bantamweight champion Kiyoshi Hatanaka, who was proclaimed super bantam king of the WBC in February 1991 in Nagoya by knocking out in the eighth round the Argentine Pedro Decima and after four months, lost the crown to Mexican Daniel Zaragoza in Nagoya.

Kosei Tanaka was crowned the WBO Mini-Flyweight world champion by winning the Mexican Julián “El Artillero” Yedras by decision in 2015 in the city of Komaki in the province of Aichi for vacant title. Kosei Tanaka won the world crown in his fifth professional fight, which is the mark of Japanese boxing history in terms of the fastest conquest of a world title with less number of matches.

He resigned from the WBO Mini-Flyweight (105lbs) World title to then won the WBO Jr. Flyweight (108lbs) world title in 2016 when he triumphantly came out victorious by TKO in the fifth round over Mexican Moisés Fuentes in the city of Gifu for vacant crown. It was his eighth professional fight with which entered the history of Japanese boxing as a record for becoming fastest two-division champion with less number of fights.

In November 2017, Kosei Tanaka opted to leave the WBO Jr. Flyweight world title after two full defenses with his sights set on conquering the Flyweight (112lbs) world title.

Last March in the city of Nagoya, Kosei Tanaka made his first fight as a flyweight boxer and liquidated by TKO in the ninth round Filipino Ronnie Baldonado.

Photo by BoxingBeat
Source: http://notifight.com/sho-kimura-expondra-corona-mosca-omb-ante-kosei-tanaka-el-249/

In just over 2 weeks we’ll see the highly anticipated WBO Flyweight world title match up between defending champion Sho Kimura (17-1-2, 10) [木村翔] mandatory challenger Kosei Tanaka (11-0, 7) [田中恒成].

For the last 2 weeks Kimura has been taking part in a Thai training camp, doing 4 minute rounds and working incredibly hard on improving his stamina. He was not only sparring with top Thai talent but also Japanese Flyweight champion Masayuki Kuroda (30-7-3, 16) [黒田 雅之] .

Today the world champion returned to Japan, ending the training camp in Thailand, and he has no injuries despite a lot of intensive and hard sparring.

Despite ending his Thai camp the fighter has certainly not finished his preparation for Tanaka and stated that he would be back in the gym to focus on sparring and weight loss. It seems clear the the rest of his training will see him further working on developing the game plan to defeat Tanaka, with his stamina and mental toughness being a big part of that game plan.

(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)