It's official at last! Japan's Kosei Tanaka (4-0, 2) will, as reported several weeks ago, battle against once beaten Mexican Julian Yedras (24-1, 13) for the WBO Minimumweight title on May 30th as Tanaka attempts to become the "fastest" Japanese world champion in history.
The announcement was made earlier today by former WBC Bantamweight champion Kiyoshi Hatanaka, the Hatanaka gym chairman and manager of Tanaka.
The aim is to see Tanaka break the current Japanese record of Naoya Inoue, who claimed his first world title in his 6th professional contest. It is also, of course, a chance for Tanaka to have his name spread about the boxing community in a big way and maybe finally capturing the attention of the Western audience who do seem to make a note of a young fighter when they race to a world title, as seen in the case of Vasyl Lomachenko, the aforementioned Inoue and Kazuto Ioka.
This is a tough test for Tanaka though one he is almost certainly ready for considering that he has already beaten 3 world ranked fighters in his first 4 bouts, including a highly impressive win over Ryuji Hara last time out. That win over Hara saw Tanaka claim the OPBF Minimumweight title and graduate to title level fights. This is step up from that but only a slight one with Yedras not being significantly more proven than Hara was.
As for Yedras this will also be his first world title fight, though he has previously claimed the WBC silver Youth Minimumweight title. In his most notable bout to date he was beaten, by the highly talented Carlos Buitrago, and has fought just 3 low level opponents since that loss.
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(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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