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Kosei Tanaka-Wulan Tuolehazi joins Ioka-Cintron New Year’s Eve show

The fight will be Tanaka’s third flyweight title defense

BOXING-WBO-JPN-PUR Photo credit should read JIJI PRESS/AFP via Getty Images
Patrick Stumberg is a freelance writer for SB Nation, first joining the network in 2011 before linking up with Bad Left Hook in 2015.

One of Japan’s brightest and most entertaining young fighters will join countryman Kazuto Ioka in Tokyo on December 31st. WBO flyweight champ Kosei Tanaka has announced via press conference that he’s set to face #12 Wulan Tuolehazi in his third title defense.

Tanaka (14-0, 8 KO), who’d previously won and defended titles at minimumweight and light flyweight, has been must-see TV throughout his career. The 24-year-old authored one of the best fights in recent memory last year in his title-winning war with Sho Kimura, a belt he’s since retained with wins over Ryochi Taguchi and, most recently, Jonathan Gonzalez.

Tuolehazi (13-3-1, 6 KO) has a bit of a deceiving record, as he started his professional career 2-3 before embarking on his current run. He’s already fought four times in 2019, twice against Japanese opponents, and is also ranked in the WBA top five at 112.

These NYE events usually have at least three big-name Japanese fighters; right now, it’s just this fight and Ioka vs. Jeyvier Cintron. We’ll keep you appraised of any developments.

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