On Monday Kosei Tanaka (12-0, 7) [田中恒成] claimed the WBO Flyweight title to become a 3-weight champion in just 12 fights. On Tuesday morning he took part in a press conference to talk about the fight and his future.
The youngster repeated the previous comments he had made about wanting to move up in weight in the future and claim more titles in the years to come. Though he did state that the plan is to defend the Flyweight title, at least for the time being.
When it came to his immediate future Tanaka revealed that as he fought on Monday he wasn't thinking too much about the immediate future, but did admit that he wants to fight with former unified Light Flyweight champion Ryoichi Taguchi (27-3-2, 12) [田口良一]. It's worth noting that Tanaka had planned to fight Taguchi at the end of last year before needing to cancel those plans due to suffering fractured orbitals in what was supposed to be a straight forward title defense against Palangpol CP Freshmart.
Tanaka's promoter Kiyoshi Hatanaka revealed that the hope was for Tanaka to return on New Year's Eve, though that does appear to depend on whether or not Tanaka will be medically cleared to fight before the year is over.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today former IBF Minimumweight world champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (11-0, 8) [京口 紘人] got the chance to kick off his Light Flyweight campaign, as he faced off against Indonesian foe Tibo Monabesa (18-1-2, 8).
On paper it was a good test for Kyoguchi at Light Flyweight, but proved to be a mismatch as the former world champion easily over-came the visitor.
The Japanese fight applied his trademark pressure from the off and got to work on the inside. Monabesa tried to fight him off, but struggled to get through the guard of the local favourite.
The Indonesian knew he had to fight back, but was punished for it in round 3 when he suffered the first knockdown of the fight, late in the round. The Indonesian got back to his feet and fought back hard at the start of round 4, but was dropped again. Monabesa showed how brave he was by trying to continue to fight back, but a vicious uppercut wobbled him hard before he dropped for the third time, and caused the referee to halt the bout. The official time was 2 minutes 20 seconds of round 4.
Following the bout Kyoguchi's promoter Hitoshi Watanabe let it be known that his was looking to face the winner of the upcoming IBF title fight between Nicaraguan puncher Felix Alvarado (33-2, 29) and slick Filipino Randy Petalcorin (29-2-1, 22), who fight on October 21st in Manila. That appears to be a decision that will allow Kyoguchi's stablemate Ryoichi Taguchi (27-3-2, 12) [田口良一] a chance to rematch WBA champion Hekkie Budler (32-3, 10).
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
It's now looking like those two bouts could serve as part of a world title triple header along with a WBC Minimumweight title bout between Wanheng Menayothin (51-0, 18) [วันเฮง ไก่ย่างห้าดาวยิม] and Shin Ono (23-9-3, 6) [小野 心], with that bout having been rumoured as being signed and sealed since Wanheng's recent title defense against Pedro Taduran.
The long established thought pattern was that this would be on December 31st on TBS, however a spanner has been through into those plans by the recent return of Kazuto Ioka (23-1, 13) [井岡一翔], following his excellent win over McWilliams Arroyo. If Ioka plans to take the December 31st date, as many suspect he will, then there is a chance TBS will have to alter the date of the Watanabe triple header. Lets not forget that Ioka's rumoured to be pursuing a WBO Super Flyweight title bout against Filipino Donnie Nietes (41-1-5, 23), a bout that would outshine any of the proposed Watanabe bouts.
This all looks like it will leave the winner of Monday's WBO Flyweight title bout, between Sho Kimura (17-1-2, 10) [木村翔] and Kosei Tanaka (11-0, 7) [田中恒成], as the proverbial loser.
The original rumour was that Taguchi's move up in weight would potentially see him face the winner of their bout, giving us the long awaited Tanaka Vs Taguchi bout, but with Taguchi fighting at 108lbs the winner of the Flyweight bout is unlikely to be featured on "TBS's Kyokugen". That is unless TBS and CBC do a split site broadcast, as they have done once in the past.
There is also the possibility that Kyoguchi misses out on the Kyokugen card to fight in January instead, as Acosta is planning to defend his WBO title in mid October, potentially leading to more boxing on TBS.
Whatever we get out of TBS to end 2018 looks likely to be something very special and we can't wait for the rumours to stop and concrete match ups, dates and venues to begin being announced!
For those who would like to read a recent interview with Taguchi about his return in English he recently spoke to the excellent Nick Skok, who interviewed him for Ring Magazine.That interview can be read here.
Earlier this week we saw WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin (51-0, 18) [วันเฮง ไก่ย่างห้าดาวยิม] record his 10th defense and suddenly become a minor boxing star, as he surpassed the 50-0 recorcd of Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Since then there has been a massive increase in boxing fans talking about the Thai, either criticising his record or applauding him for his long unbeaten reign. But that talk doesn't seem to stop any time soon, and his team are clearly not discussing retirement yet.
Prior to his recent bout with Pedro Taduran it was reported that he was looking to defend his WBC title later in the year in Japan. Now there is a few more details being revealed about that potential bout
Thai sources are now reporting that Wanheng isn't just looking to fight in Japan but is looking to do so on a Watanabe promoted New Year's Eve card, something that would be relatively huge given the audiences that attend and tune in to those end of year shows in the country.
Given the date and promotional contact the most obvious opponent would be Japanese Minimumweight champion Shin Ono (23-9-3, 6) [小野 心]. He's promoted by the Watanabe Gym, and they are looking to continue their run of shows on December 31st. It would fit perfect on a card that would also, potentially, feature Hiroto Kyoguchi (10-0, 7) [京口 紘人] facing off with WBA Light Flyweight super champion Hekkie Budler (32-3, 10). They are also said to have been in touch with Wanheng's promoter prior to Wanheng's 51st career victory.
Interestingly there's also speculation that Ono's stablemate Ryoichi Taguchi (27-3-2, 12) [田口良一] will be fighting in a Flyweight world title bout on the same card, which appears to be slowly getting put together at the moment. The obvious option for Taguchi's Flyweight title bout would be against the winner of the upcoming WBO title fight between Sho Kimura (17-1-2, 10) [木村翔] and Kosei Tanaka (11-0, 7) [田中恒成].
Another very serious possibility, if Ono is unable to have the bout this year due to a cut or other injury, is a rematch with Wanheng facing Tatsuya Fukuhara (21-6-6, 7) [福原 辰弥], who had been spoken to about a title fight with a Thai earlier in the year and would make for a very fan friendly contest. Though he does seem more likely to be challenging WBA champion Knockout CP Freshmart.
A third possibility would be OPBF champion Tsubasa Koura (13-0, 9) [小浦 翼], if Koura successfully defends his title later this month. So far Koura has mostly fought on the Boxingraise service so doesn't seem to have any television commitments and would make for a very exciting challenger for Wanheng.
We suspect that that Koura would be preferable to Fukuhara, given his own unbeaten record and style, but even he would be second choice behind Ono, who has shown himself to be just under-world class with decision losses to Katsunari Takayama and Knockout CP Freshmart, and is of course a Watanabe promoted fighter and would be by far the easiest to make a bout with.
(Image courtesy of Siamsport)
Earlier this year we saw Japan's Ryoichi Taguchi (27-3-2, 12) [田口良一] lost the IBF, WBA "Super" and Ring Magazine Light Flyweight titles to South African fighter Hekkie Budler (32-3, 10). At the time it was known the winner of that bout would have Nicaraguan destroyer Felix Alvarado (33-2, 29) waiting in the wings, with "El Gemelo" being the IBF mandatory challenger for the winner. A bout between Alvarado and Budler went to purse bids a few weeks ago and brought a winning bid of just $25,000 (USD), a figure that saw Budler turn the fight down and vacate the IBF title.
The South Africa is now expected to defend the WBA title against Taguchi's stablemate Hiroto Kyoguchi (10-0, 7) [京口 紘人], who has vacated his IBF Minimumweight title and indicated that he wants to become a 2-weight world champion.
As a result of Budler vacating Alvarado then began negotiations with the next highest ranked IBF contender, Filipino Randy Petalcorin (29-2-1, 22). Negotiations between the two camps appear to have gone amazingly well and the bout is now set for October 21th in Melbourne, Australia, giving Petalcorin home advantage with the Filipino having an Australian promoter and having fought "down under" a number of times.
For Alvarado this will be his third shot at a world title, following losses at the world level to Kazuto Ioka [井岡一翔] and Juan Carlos Reveco, though he has been on a tear since his 2014 loss to Reveco, going 15-0 (14) including a chilling KO of Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr last October and other notable wins over the likes of Luis de la Rosa, Karluis Diaz and Jose Antonio Jimenez.
As for Petalcorin this will actually be his first fight for a world title, though he is a former WBA "interim" champion and has fought for the WBC "silver" title. Coming in to this the Filipino has won his last 6, and stopped his last 4. He will be hoping his skills, speed and movement can neutralise the brutal power of Alvarado, whilst the Nicaraguan will be hoping to stop the Filipino and not risk the judges going against him.
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