Several of our Japanese sources have told us that Japanese Wunderkind Kosei Tanaka (4-0, 2) has suggested that he is very interested in the newly crowned WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin (36-0, 12) and that a fight in 2015 between the two could be made shortly as Tanaka attempts to become the quickest Japanese fighter in history to win a world title.
Having only won the title on Thursday we can understand if Wanheng takes time to make a decision on his future, afterall his contest with Mexico's Oswaldo Novoa wasn't an easy one and both men took huge shots, though it does appear he has a target on his back and Tanaka is the one setting his sights on him.
What is interesting is that whilst Tanaka has, apparently, mentioned Wanheng as a possible opponent we have been made aware that both the IBF and WBO titles are likely to be vacated by unified champion Francisco Rodriguez Jr. If that happens it would give Tanaka other winnable options.
Whilst Tanaka is almost certainly going to be fighting for a world title next time out it does seem like he's weighing up his options and, like Wanheng, he will not be rushing into the ring. Instead the Japanese youngster will give his body time to recuperate following his excellent victory over Ryuji Hara at the end of October to claim the OPBF title.
Whilst not currently ranked by the WBC it's fair to say Tanaka will be expecting a ranking in their organisation given that Hara was the #4 ranked fighter. Going into the Hara /Tanaka bout Hara was ranked in the top 5 by all 4 major world bodies and Tanaka would be expecting similar rankings as a result of his win.
The problem for the young Japanese fighter would be luring the Thai outside of Thailand, though if the money could be found to get home advantage then this bout suddenly becomes very interesting. Inside of Thailand we'd have to favour Wanheng, outside of Thailand this is a 50-50 bout. If this bout couldn't be brought to Japan we suspect Tanaka would take another route rather than travel to such a dangerous country for his first world title bout.
(Image courtesy of Soulbox.info)
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