Kosei Tanaka is now a three-weight world champion at the age of 23, but Sho Kimura made him earn it, warring with his young foe for 12 brilliant rounds on his way to a majority decision defeat.
Both Tanaka (12-0, 7 KO) and Kimura (17-2-2, 10 KO) were known for their aggression and volume going in, and the fight absolutely delivered on its considerable potential. Despite Kimura’s right eye swelling to near-uselessness around the halfway mark, you could randomly skip to any point in the fight and be immediately greeted by these two beating the hell out of each other.
You can watch/rewatch the battle below, courtesy of CBC Television. If you want to watch two guys meet in the center and basically never leave for half an hour, this is your kind of fight
Despite losing this war of attrition, Kimura proved once again that his upset beatdown of Zou Shiming was no fluke. Both of these men are top flyweights and I’d be up to watch them fight pretty much anyone.
Maybe Tanaka vs. Cristofer Rosales to avenge Daigo Higa?