The talented Japanese youngster was last seen in the ring in September, scoring a 9th round win over Thai challenger Palangpol CP Freshmart [คู่เอก พลังพล ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท]. Although Tanaka was victorious against Palangpol it wasn't without harm, and he suffered two fractured orbital bones, which forced a planned unification with WBA champion Ryoichi Taguchi (26-2-2, 12) [田口良一] to be cancelled.
The sources suggest that due to weight problems Tanaka will leave the Light Flyweight division as of next week and chase a third divisional title. That seems to have been backed up by quotes attributed to Francisco "Paco" Varcarcel, who spoke about Tanaka being ranked at Flyweight.
Although it's unclear when Tanaka will return it does look like the Flyweight division could be set to get another interesting fighter join it's ranks in 2018, and we could see a very fun year at 112lbs. Sadly it does however end the hope for Tanaka Vs Taguchi in a unification bout at 108lbs.
It seems like the story will be confirmed next week, though it's still not clear how much longer Tanaka will need to take to recover from what was a serious injury.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)