After months of talk today we finally saw the announcement of the WBO Light Flyweight titlebout between Japanese youngster Kosei Tanaka (7-0, 4) [田中恒成] and Moises Fuentes (24-2-1, 13), in what will be a clash between two former WBO Minimumweight champions.
The bout, which had, if rumours are to be believed, first been pencilled in for September will now take place on December 31st in Gifu, not December 29th as ESPN Desportes had previously reported.
The bout will see Tanaka attempt to match the Japanese 2-weight speed record of becoming a multi weight world champion in 8 fights, matching the record of Naoya Inoue, whilst Fuentes will be hoping it's third time lucky, having come up short twice against former champion Donnie Nietes.
Tanaka became the "quickest" Japanese champion last year when he claimed the WBO Minimumweight title with a decision over Yulian Yedras. He followed that with one defense and had hoped to get a title fight earlier this year, and break Inoue's record. Unfortunately due to issues of timing he was unable to get such a fight so fought in a stay busy contest against Rene Patilano, in which he looked like a very solid Light Flyweight.
For Fuentes the bout will see him head off for a third bout in Asia, following the bouts with Nietes, which ended in a draw in 2013 and a KO loss in 2014. He had been mandated to face Nietes a third time but talks between the teams allowed Neites to make a voluntary defense before vacating an opening the door for Fuentes to face Tanaka.
The bout will be aired in Japan on CBC as part of their Soul Fighting series, and could also end up being broadcast on sister channel TBS, as his year ending 2015 bout with Vic Saludar was.
On the under-card of this bout will be a Japanese Featherweight title bout, which will see Shota Hayashi (28-5-1, 17) [林 翔太] make his first defense of the title, taking on former world champion Akifumi Shimoda (31-5-2, 14) [下田 昭文]. That bout is unlikely to recieve national television but will possibly be aired on tape delay in the Chukyo region on CBC, just as Hayashi's title win earlier this year was.
At the moment it's the 4th world title bout set to take place in Japan on New Year's Eve, but there several more expected to be announced in the near future.
(Images courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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