After two successful defenses of his WBO light flyweight title, Japan’s Kosei Tanaka makes his flyweight debut on March 31st, facing unbeaten Filipino Ronnie Baldonado in the former’s native Nagoya. The fight will reportedly set up a domestic clash with champ Sho Kimura later this year.
Tanaka (10-0, 6 KO), a two-division champion at the age of 22, suffered eye injuries against Rangsan Chayanram in September, leaving him on the mend until now. He has elected to move up rather than stay at 108 to fight Ryoichi Taguchi due to the increasing difficulty involved in making the weight.
He’s a growing boy.
Baldonado (10-0-1, 7 KO) is 21 and unproven, a decent test for Tanaka to find his footing at 112. Not sure if he’s enough to prepare Tanaka for Kimura, but I suppose he’ll cross that bridge when he gets to it.
Anyone believe Tanaka can claim a third world title before he turns 24?