We know that there are copious Japanese prospects that have caught our eye in the last year or so. They range from fighters now on the verge of a world title fight, like Kosei Tanaka, to fighters who are simply climbing through the domestic ranks at an electric pace, such as Ken Shiro.
Another of those promising prospects is 22 year old Kazuki Tanaka (2-0, 2) who stepped up big time today and made a statement win.
Tanaka made his debut last December in a brief outing against Sunthonpetch Korat Sport School. It lasted just 99 seconds though it was clear that Tanaka was a super-prospect. Today he stepped up massively as he took on the the tough and more experienced Kaname Tabei (10-9-2, 7).
On paper it was a risky bout against a limited but tough and hard hitting foe who had had 20 previous bouts and only been stopped once, that risk however was a calculated one and one that Tanaka's team were confident he would handle. And handle it he did.
The bout saw both men having success and although Tanaka was forced to take a number of hard shots himself he gritted his teeth and ground down Tabei who showed his toughness but simply couldn't handle the power and youthful energy of the young prospect.
Following the bout Tanaka said he was hoping to return to the ring in April before taking on a Japanese ranked foe in December as he continues his rise through the rankings. The Bantamweight-come-Super Bantamweight may not be on quite the same trajectory as Naoya Inoue but it's clear that he has the ability to go all the way and his team know they have a very special talent on their hands.
(Image courtesy of http://www.daily.co.jp)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!