On December 31st Japanese fans will get the chance to see wunderkid Kosei Tanaka (5-0, 2) defend his WBO Minimumweight title against heavy handed Filipino fighter Vic Saludar (11-1, 9). It now appears that, win or lose, that bout will be Tanaka's final bout at 105lbs with his team stating that he was struggling to make weight and that a move to Light Flyweight was going to be made for Tanaka's next contest.
The 20 year old, who holds the Japanese record for fewest fights to win a world title, is said to be eyeing up the world record for fewest fights to become a 2-weight world champion. Incidentally he beat Naoya Inoue's Japanese record for fewest fights to a world title earlier this year and, if he wins a second world title in fight #7 he would again break a record held by "The Monster".
Tanaka's mentor, Kiyoshi Hatanaka, made the revelation on Friday and it seems clear that his charge will not be facing Katsunari Takayama in an all-Japanese unification bout in 2016, as hoped. Though with both men talking about moving up we may still get that super fight. We may also get intriguing all-Japanese bouts with Tanaka facing WBC champoion Yu Kimura or WBA champion Ryoichi Taguchi. It's clear that his team have got the confidence in their man to chase those fights and and if he manages to claim a second divisional as quickly as they hope then he'll be on the way for one of the most remarkable careers of recent times.
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