It's already well known that we suspect Kosei Tanaka (4-0, 2) to become one of the stars of the lower weight divisions. His talent is incredibly and his desire to prove it is second to none. Despite our views on Tanaka it's clear that he's not the only young Japanese Minimumweight hoping to make a name for himself in 2014. We of course have the extremely young Riku Kano (5-1-1, 3), hoping to impress through the year as he chases a Japanese national record, and former amateur star Genki Hanai (3-0, 2).
Although the 24 year old Hanai is a bit older than his other stand out compatriots he is viewed as a potential world champion and a man on the fast track to title fights. He is already ranked #7 in Japan at 105lbs and #10 in the OPBF and will look to continue his rise in his next bout, a bout that was announced very recently.
The announcement stated than Hanai would be returning to the ring on April 26th to battle against Indonesian Minimumweight champion Boy Tanto (9-16, 1), a 29 year old who has been in with a verifiable who's who. In his 26 recorded bouts, we suspect there are more that boxrec.com don't have, he has been in with Pigmy Kokietgym, Kwanthai Sithmorseng, Nethra Sasiprapa, Wanheng Menayothin and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, as well as Japan's Takumi Sakae. Whilst he has lost to all of those name fighters he has at least shared the ring with them.
For Hanai this should be win #4 and he should be angling for either the domestic or continental title later this year.
For those who haven't seen Hanai he is an exciting fighter with an aggressive mentality. His second professional win, a stoppage over Farung Porsuwangym, impressed us whilst his most recent victory, a decision over Crison Omayao, showed there was more than power and aggression to his game.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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