There had been some comments from Tanaka's handlers that their fighter would be on an extremely fast track to a world title, with some suggesting Tanaka could have been set to attempt to tie the now joint record of Saensak Muangsurin and Vasyl Lomachenko in winning a world title in fight #3. That appears to have been little more than hyperbole and instead Tanaka's return will be a 10 rounder.
From what we understand Tanaka will be facing Filipino fighter Crison Omayao (16-7-2, 4), a fighter best known for being the debut opponent for Naoya Inoue.
Whilst this does appear to be a backwards step for the young Tanaka, after scoring impressive victories over the then world ranked pair of Oscar Raknafa and Ronelle Ferreras, it does allow him to test the waters over the 10 round distance before moving onto a title fight. We would suggest this is actually a smart move and getting this fight under his belt before moving him on to fighting for titles.
If, as expected, Tanaka gets past Omayao without too many difficulties we'd then assume that he will chase the Japanese Minimumweight title which is currently held by Go Odaira. That would be a much, much harder fight for the youngster but with a 10 rounder under his belt he would likely feel prepared for whatever the speedy Odaira would have in his locker.
This bout will be the main event of a 6 fight show at the International Conference Hall in Nagoya, the same venue that Tanaka has fought both of his previous bouts. We'd not be surprised if Tanaka made the venue his "boxing home" over the next few years until he becomes capable of selling out a bigger venue.
(Image courtesy of Hatanaka Gym on Facebook)