The planned September 24th bout between WBO Flyweight Champion Sho Kimura and two-division champ Kosei Tanaka is official and will take place in Nagoya. The fight will be Kimura’s third title defense and Tanaka’s second appearance at 112 pounds after holding belts at 105 and 108.
Kimura (17-1-2, 10 KO) came out of nowhere to batter Zou Shiming for the title last year in a fight that saw oddsmakers initially install Shiming as more than a 1/40 favorite. He’s since proven it was no fluke with stoppages of Toshiyuki Igarashi and Froilan Saludar, giving him 10 knockouts in his last 11 fights.
Tanaka (11-0, 7 KO) just turned 23 this year, but has rocketed up the ranks in impressive fashion. It took him just five fights to secure his first world title and he owns dominant wins over current champions Vic Saludar and Angel Acosta. As Dan Rafael mentions, he would tie Vasyl Lomachenko’s record for the fewest number of fights needed to win world titles in three divisions.
In terms of pure action potential, this matchup is hard to beat. Both of these guys are crazy aggressive and throw an unreasonable number of punches per round. The only way I can imagine this not ending up a Fight of the Year candidate is if one of them gets clocked too quickly.