Former three-division champion Kosei Tanaka will resume his quest for a world title in a fourth quest class on June 29, as he’s set to meet Masayoshi Hashizume in a bout at Tokyo’s famed Korakuen Hall.
Tanaka (16-1, 9 KO) hasn’t had the same roaring success in the 115 lb division that he had at 105, 108, and 112, moving up in 2020 to get pretty well dominated by Kazuto Ioka in a WBO title fight, and going tooth-and-nail in a split decision win over veteran Sho Ishida last time out in December 2021.
The 26-year-old seems determined to succeed at the weight, though, and will stick with it against 28-year-old southpaw Hashizume (19-0-2, 11 KO), who currently holds the OPBF title and the WBO Asia Pacific title. The OPBF title is a respectable regional belt, while the WBO trinket is more a ratings play with that sanctioning body. Hashizume won both titles last time out against Akio Furutani, and has never faced anyone near the level of Tanaka.
Tanaka has been working with highly respected trainer Ismael Salas and should be a pretty strong favorite in this fight. A win could get him back into the WBO mix for sure, with that belt still held by Ioka, who has an ordered rematch with Donnie Nietes to deal with, and could field a challenge from current WBO flyweight titleholder Junto Nakatani later this year, too.