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).
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)
Earlier today Japanese fans in Aichi had a small but notable card featuring 3 of the biggest names at the Hatanaka gym.
The first of those notable bouts saw former 2-time Japanese Bantamweight title challenger Yushi Tanaka (21-2-3, 14) [田中 裕士] battle hard to claim a very hard fought decision win over Filipino visitor Bryan Capangpangan (12-4-1, 9). The 8 rounder was competitive through out, but Tanaka did enough to take the bout 78-75, twice, and 78-74 in a very fun contest.
Following Tanaka's win fans saw former Japanese Featherweight champion Shota Hayashi (30-6-1, 18) [林 翔太] bounce back from his title loss to Kosuke Saka to stop Filipino visitor Markquil Salvana (13-4, 7). The Filipino had to take a determined body attack from Hayashi and was wilting heavily by the end of round 3, before retiring in his corner to give Hayashi the win.
The main event saw talented prospect Kento Hatanaka (4-0, 4) [畑中 建人] continue his perfect start as he stopped an over-matched Thai in the 4th round. The Thai looked tough early on, but was dropped several times before the referee stopped the bout. After the contest Hatanaka stated that he was now lookign to move towards a Japanese titles ranking and an A class license.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Japanese fans at the Korakuen Hall had the chance to see a new Japanese Bantamweight champion being crowned as Ryo Akaho (30-2-2, 19) [赤穂 亮] over-came Yushi Tanaka (19-2-3, 13) [田中 裕士] with a dominant, yet under-whemling, display to claim the previously vacant title.
The bout, which was ordered as part of the 2017 Champion Carnival after Kentaro Masuda vacated the title, pitted the top two ranked Japanese Bantamweights against each other, though they looked in different leagues.
Akaho came out swinging and clear took the opening round, whilst seemingly shaking the confidence of Tanaka. Although the opening round was a clear one for the more experienced man it seemed like Tanaka's team had managed to calm him in the corner and in round 2 Tanaka showed his skills by winning the round behind his jab.
Having won round 2 Tanaka would have loved to have built on his success but Akaho was determined not to allow him to that and and managed to easily take the round with power shots that again seemed to worry Tanaka who was made to look second rate in rounds 4 and 5 as he slipped into a hole. Unsurprisingly, given the clear cut nature of all 3 round,s the judges all had the bout 49-46 after 5 rounds.
Knowing he was in the lead Akaho seemed to begin to take his eye off the ball in round 6. He looked a little bit tired, a little bit clumsy and almost as if he felt the bout was a walk in the park. He was lucky that Tanaka wasn't a better fighter making him pay for those mistakes, in fact it wasn't until round 8 that Tanaka really seemed to realise that he had a chance, and he began to dig to the body of Akaho. Having won round 8 Tanaka failed to really jump on Akaho in either of the final two rounds as the bout seemed to sizzle out for a clear win to Akaho.
Having won the bout 98-92 on all 3 cards Akaho will be glad to have claimed a Japanese title but the reality of the win is that it will have done little to convince anyone of his world class ability and it's unlikely he'll get a world title fight any time soon. Instead he may have put a bullseye on his back for fighters like Hinata Maruta, who has stated he's wanting a domestic or OPBF title fight this year.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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