As we reported last week the bout will take place on October 30th at the Korakuen Hall. Though one thing we did get wrong was this announcement, as we expected this to come in early September.
The announcement was made with the chairmen from both the Hatanakana gym, Kiyoshi Hatanaka, and the Ohashi gym, Hideyuki Ohashi, as well as Tanaka who will be looking for the biggest win of his young career. For Hatanaka gym this announcement co-coincided with their 20th anniversary and although Mr Ohash is busy with his own promotional work he made the trip to to a celebration party being held by Hatanaka to help announce the fight.
There were reports that Hara was going to vacate the title to focus on fights against world class opponents though with Tanaka bursting on to the scene like he has he's effectively forced Hara's hand. For Hara however this bout is about more than just his belt. In fact Hara could lose the OPBF title as well as top 10 world rankings with all 4 major organisations if he is beaten by Tanaka. As for Tanaka the belt would be a huge reward though moving into the upper echelons of the world rankings would be even bigger news and possibly even open doors for him to become a world champion in his 5th professional. Whilst it seems unlikely at the moment Tanaka could, if he wins here, go on to set a record for the fewest fights for a Japanese fighter to become a world champion, beating the 6 fight record of Naoya Inoue.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Ryuji Hara= 原 隆二 (Hara Ryuji)
Kosei Tanaka= 田中 恒成 (Tanaka HisashiNaru)