We have just been informed by one of our trusted sources that we will see OPBF Minimumweight champion Ryuji Hara (18-0, 10) defend his belt against mandatory challenger Kosei Tanaka (3-0, 1) on October 30th at the Korakuen Hall.
At the moment our source has stated the bout is "pencilled in" as opposed to "confirmed" though they are expecting the bout to be confirmed in early September following the highly anticipated Ohashi Gym show on September 5th at the Yoyogi #2 Gymnasium. That show, which features a number of Hara's stable mates such as Naoya Inoue and Akira Yaegashi, is the focus of the gym for now though if things all go as planned this Minimumweight title bout will be confirmed in a press conference within 72 hours of that show.
For Hara it will be the first defence of the title he won back in March with a majority decision victory against Donny Mabao. Although he is more experienced and more proven as a professional Hara has shown cracks having been down numerous times in his career, including against non-puncher Takashi Kunishige. At 24 years old Hara is young though he has been a professional since 2010 and has really been handled carefully by Ohashi Gym who have guided him to a Rookie of the Year title as well as the Japanese and OPBF belts.
As for Tanaka this will be his first bout though the 19 year old has been ear marked as a future superstar since his debut last year against the then world ranked Oscar Raknafa. Having beaten Ronelle Ferreras in an 8 round decision and Crison Omayao inside a round we've already seen Tanaka claim world rankings and receive praise from all those who have seen him. Although the wider boxing public haven't yet realised how talented the youngster is many in Japan are suspecting that he could beat Naoya Inoue's Japanese national record for the quickest fighter to a world title.
If this is, as speculated, confirmed shortly then we'll have to admit we'll be looking forward October 30th a lot, lot more than we were expecting to.
Ryuji Hara= 原 隆二 (Hara Ryuji)
Kosei Tanaka= 田中 恒成 (Tanaka HisashiNaru)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!