Earlier today it was reported than fast rising Japanese wunderkind Kosei Tanaka (4-0, 2) had returned to training at the Hatanaka gym just weeks after winning the OPBF Minimumweight title with his outstanding win over former champion Ryuji Hara. The win saw Tanaka becoming the quickest Japanese fighter to claim an OPBF belt and the 19 year old star appears to have his eyes on the Japanese record for fewest to become a world champion.
The intention to set a Japanese record was restated by gym chairman, and former world champion, Kiyoshi Hatanaka. Hatanaka had suggested that Tanaka had the ability to win a world title very quickly though at the time it seemed to be the talk of a promoter. It seems now that Tanaka really is as good as advertised and it looks very clear that the youngster had his pick of routes to go in 2015.
From what we understand the unbeaten star is looking to get a world title fight in spring. That gives him options of targeting any of the current champions, such as Wanheng Menayothing (WBC), Hekkie Budler (WBA), the winner of the upcoming IBF title fight between Katsunari Takayama and Go Odaira or targeting the WBO title which we suspect will be made vacant short. It seems the likely option will be Wanheng, who recently claimed the WBC title with a stoppage win over Oswaldo Novoa, though the fact that Tanaka has the options to select from really leaves him in a great position for 2015 and we suspect the Japanese national record of 6 fights to become a world champion, currently held by Naoya Inoue, will be broken in early 2015 by one of the most impressive fighters on the planet.
(Image courtesy of http://www.sankei.com)
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