He’s not big and he’s not a particularly big puncher, but Japanese warrior and reigning WBO flyweight champion Kosei Tanaka is very big on providing excitement. Twice in a row now, the unbeaten 23 year old battler has given us a genuine Fight Of the Year contender. Hours ago in his hometown of Gifu, Tanaka defeated countryman Ryoichi Taguchi via wide but always thrilling decision in a real slugfest.
Scores were a wide 119-109 and 117-111 twice, but they do not begin to tell the full story behind this action-packed fight. Tanaka, now 13-0(7) had to work very hard at all times and the two-way brawling and slugging was something to see. Taguchi, who is now 27-4-2(12) and has never been stopped, came forward all night, where he was met by the champion, and the warfare was fierce, if largely one-sided.
The best round of the fight that never had a dull session, was the third. The challenger stunned the champ and almost sent him south, his right hand to the head hurting Tanaka. But the champion fought harder after being hurt and the war was on. Tanaka was soon swelling up around the face and the volume of punches from both men was quite startling. The crowd loved it, as will all fans who have yet to check the fight out but will do so via You Tube.
These two threw leather right until the final bell, embracing as the dong sounded to end what may well be the best action fight of 2019 – so far anyway.
Tanaka, already a three-weight champion, this despite his having had just 13 pro bouts, would be a big star the world over if he was a bigger man. As it is, those fight fans who have caught his fights, his countrymen especially, adore him. Last September, in winning the WBO flyweight belt, Tanaka gave us another epic as he won a majority decision over Sho Kimura. Now, with this, his second classic and counting, Tanaka is winning the hardcore fight fans over.
Japan can boast some special fighters right now, including Tanaka and fearsome puncher Naoya Inoue, but in terms of raw action, Tanaka just might be the best of them. Today’s loser Taguchi, now aged 32, also deserves a ton of credit for playing his part in a great fight. Again, check it out on You Tube NOW.