Several weeks ago we were informed that the WBO had ordered Minimumweight champion Kosei Tanaka (5-0, 2) to face mandatory challenger Pigmy Kokiegym (57-8-2, 23). Unfortunately since that order a lot has changed.
Of course the biggest change has been Pigmy's standing in the sport given that he has lost in what was supposed to be a tune up bout, against Filipino Jaysever Abcede. The bout was supposed to be warm up before a deal was finalised for Pigmy and Tanaka to fight later this year.
Since Pigmy's loss we've seen former Japanese champion Go Odaira (12-4-3, 1) vacate the national title and suggest that he was heading towards a world title bout. With Odaira only being ranked by the IBF and WBO we can rule out the other titles, and we can also rule out a rematch between Odaira and Katsunari Takayama, who met last year. This head lead to the logical conclusion that Odaira is eyeing up bout with Tanaka, who now seemingly has a free option for his first defense, as a result of Pigmy's loss.
Whilst no date was ever publicly set for the Tanaka/Pigmy bout it was expected before the end of the year. Since then however we've been told that Tanaka is likely to be out of the ring until the very end of the year. This is only a rumour but there is said to be a date of December 31st penciled in for the youngster.
Putting the two stories together it would seem that Odaira Vs Tanaka could be set to fight on December 31st. The bout would almost certainly be as part of the Ioka card, penciled in to feature Kazuto Ioka Vs Juan Carlos Reveco II and continue the link between Tanaka and TBS, who aired his bout with Julian Yedras back in May. Unfortunately however it would mean that Tanaka would have been out of the ring for 7 months.
Adding strength to this rumour is the fact that Tanaka would be looking to out-do Takayama, who stopped Odaira in 7 rounds last year. This would be a counter-act to the fact Takayama is facing Ryuji Hara later this month, with Takayama looking to out-perform Tanaka's result against Hara from last year, where Hara was stopped in 10 rounds.
We do, again, need to state that this is a rumour, but it has come from a reliable source.
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