On September 24th we'll see WBO Flyweight champion Sho Kimura (17-1-2, 10) [木村翔] defend his belt against mandatory challenger Kosei Tanaka (11-0, 7) [田中恒成] in a mouth watering match up on CBC. It's now been revealed that that won't be the only title bout on the card.
The other title bout, was was revealed recently, will see unbeaten puncher Kento Hatanaka (6-0, 6) [畑中 建人] take on Indonesian foe Aprilianto Rumahpasal (1-2, 1) in a bout for the WBC Youth Flyweight title.
The match up isn't the most attractive on paper, but it is a chance for the 20 year old "Prince" Hatanaka to become a "King" and claim his first professional title, with more likely to come in the near future, as he steps up his competition and begins to chase national and regional honours.
The exciting Hatanaka, the son of former world champion Kiyoshi Hatanaka, has often been in a supporting role for Tanaka, as he is again here, and it looks likely that a win here could be the final time he acts as a supporting before branching out to become a championship fighter in his own right. It's also a safe looking first title bout, taking on a man who will be fighting on foreign soil for the first time.
Not too much is known about the Indonesian foe though he made his debut in April 2017, when he lost a 6 round decision to Hisar Mawan. He would fight all 3 of his bouts last year, and has been inactive since a December loss to Yohanis Tatul. He's not expected to put up much of a threat to Hatanaka, but he's yet to be stopped, and iut's unlikely that the Japanese fighter will want to see his perfect KO record end here.
It's also been confirmed that former Japanese title challenger Yushi Tanaka (21-2-3, 14) [田中裕士] will be on the card, against Rusli Yanto (2-1), and the highly regarded Koshin Takeshima (1-0, 1) [竹嶋 宏心] will be battling against Kiki Marciano (1-2).
This past Saturday Kento Hatanaka (5-0, 5) [畑中 建人] scored a career best win, as he stopped former Japanese title challenger Kenta Matsui (8-8, 1) [松井謙太] and put himself into the domestic title mix almost immediately. Today it was revealed that he's going to be busy in 2018, and his next bout has already been pencilled in for May 20th.
At the moment his opponent for the show hasn't been announced but it is known he will be in the headline bout of the card, in an 8 rounder as he is forced to carry the show in some ways.
The 19 year old, who turns 20 just over a week before this show, has looked highly impressive so far and his win over Matsui showed just how promising he is. His father, and promoter, Kiyoshi Hatanaka appears to have serious belief in the youngster and is looking at this coming bout as a chance to progress his son through the rankings and further push him towards a title fight of some sort. Although it's clear that he will be fighting for lesser titles in the near future his father was walking about titles at a press event earlier today, as Kento looks to follow in the footsteps of his father, himself a former WBC Super Bantamweight champion.
We're expecting to see Hatanaka's opponent for the show announced later this month, and although it's unlikely to match up to Matsui the bout will be the next step forward for Hatanaka, who seems likely to shine once again and move himself, in some ways, from the shadows of his stable mate, and former 2-weight champion Kosei Tanaka.
Earlier today Japanese fight fans had the chance to see rising prospect Kento Hatanaka (5-0, 5) [畑中 建人] take a huge step up in class, and shine as he stopped former Japanese title challenger Kenta Matsui (8-8, 1) [松井謙太].
The talented youngster, who had fought just 10 rounds prior to today's bout, took control of this one very early as he inflicted a cut on Matsui's left eye in the opening round.
The cut was a huge target for Hatanaka who looked sharp and accurate as he tagged at the cut with his jab. The cut worsened as the fight went on, and twice forced a doctors inspection in round 4.
The cut was clearly a growing issue for the fighter, and officials, but in the end it wasn't the key factor in the fight with Hatanaka hurting Matsui in round 5 and forcing the referee to stop the bout as Hatanaka began to unload.
This is a second straight loss for Matsui, who also lost in a Japanese Minimumweight title fight in December against champion Reiya Konish. It should be noted however that this is is only his second stoppage loss, with the other being an 8th round loss in 2016 to Tetsuya Hisada. Whilt that might sound terribe for Matsui it really does show how much promise Hatanaka has and how impressive today's win was.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Lat week there was a press conference held to announce that former WBO Minimumweight and Light Flyweight champion Kosei Tanaka (10-0, 6) [田中恒成] would be facing Filipino fighter Ronnie Baldonado (10-0-1, 7) on March 31st. At the time we knew that not only was Tanaka returning on the show, fighting for the first time since suffering two eye injuries in September, but also Yushi Tanaka (21-2-3, 14) [田中 裕士] and Kento Hatanaka (4-0, 4) [畑中 建人].
Over the last day or so we've seen more details from the card being released, along with the show's poster.
We now know that Hatanaka will battle against former Japanese title challenger Kenta Matsui (8-7, 1) [松井謙太], who will be fighting for the first time since his December loss to the then Japanese Minimumweight champion Reiya Konishi. This is a big step up in class for the 19 year old, who hasn't really been challenged since his debut back in November 2016, fighting only a combined 10 rounds. Although a step up he should still be favoured to beat Matsui, despite Matsui's 2016 win over Rikito Hatrtori and 2017 upset win over Genki Hanai.
As for Yushi Tanaka his opponent has been named as Jinya Ito (6-3-1, 1) [伊藤仁也]. Tanaka has twice fought for Japanese titles, losing to both Kentaro Masuda and Ryo Akaho, but came up short in both of those title bouts. Since losing to Akaho last year Tanaka has notched up two wins and is one his way to getting another title fight. As for Ito he has scored back to back wins, but has gone 2-3 in his last 5 and certainly looks a less than challenging opponent for Tanaka.
It should be noted that former Japanese Featherweight champion Shota Hayashi (30-7-1, 18) [林翔太] is featured on the poster. He won't actually be in action as his appearance on the card will be a retirement ceremony, as he walks away from active fighting following recent losses to to Kosuke Saka and Mark Magsayo.
Last week we reported that former WBO Minimumweight and Light Flyweight champion Kosei Tanaka (10-0, 6) [田中恒成] would be returning to the ring on March 31st to battle against unbeaten Filipino fighter Ronnie Baldonado (10-0-1, 7). Today that bout was announced, with Tanaka holding a press conference in Nagoya, along with his team from the Hatanaka gym.
The bout will take place at Flyweight and will be Tanaka's first Flyweight bout, and his first bout since last September when he suffered two eye injuries against Palangpol CP Freshmart. Although those injuries were from being hit in the face Tanaka had put them, at least in part, down to weight loss and the ill effects of weight loss on his performance.
The former world champion has scouted his foe and is full aware that Baldonado is an energetic puncher, who will be looking to stop Tanaka. The Japanese vighter stated their was some unease at facing such a fighter, given the injuries, but he seems to be aware that that unease should improve his over-all performance and concentration.
Reports from this morning's press conference is that the contest will be aired on CBC, live from 4PM local time, and the card will feature Yushi Tanaka (21-2-3, 14) [田中 裕士] and Kento Hatanaka (4-0, 4) [畑中 建人], though neither of those bouts are expected to get live television coverage.
(Image courtesy of boxmo.jp)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!