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WBO orders Kosei Tanaka-Jonathan Gonzalez

The fight will be Tanaka’s second title defense

Kosei Tanaka v Ryoichi Taguchi - WBO Flyweight Tite Bout Photo by Atsushi Tomura/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 the most entertaining champions in the sport, WBO flyweight titlist Kosei Tanaka, has been ordered to face #1 contender Jonathan Gonzalez. The two sides have 30 days to negotiate, after which a purse bid with an $80,000 minimum will be held.

The 23-year-old Tanaka (13-0, 7 KO), who’d won titles at 105 and 108, conquered his third weight class last year in a terrific war against Sho Kimura. He went on to face former WBA/IBF light flyweight champion Ryoichi Taguchi last month in his first title defense, once again overpowering a standout countryman in must-watch fashion.

You may remember Puerto Rico’s “Bomba” Gonzalez (22-2-1, 13 KO) from the time he got thrown to the wolves against Giovanni Segura in 2013. He’s won nine of his last 10, the run marred by a knockout loss to Jobert Alvarez in 2016, and most recently knocked out former title challenger Juan Alejo in November.

Gonzalez’s shaky jaw and Tanaka’s relentless offense bode ill for the challenger. Here’s hoping we get some unification going once the mandatory obligations are out of the way.

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