While most of the boxing world’s eyes were set on Amir Khan and Chris Algieri on a Friday night and the card from England on Saturday, he’s something amazing you may have missed. Kosei Tanaka out of Japan won a unanimous decision Julian Yedras to win a strawweight title in Japan.
Yeah they are little guys and yes it happened in Japan but what Tanaka accomplished was no small feat. In just his 5th pro fight, Tanaka became a world champion and at the age of 19 may be a rising star in Japan. Japan is where a lot of the stars in the country reside in the lower weight classes.
With his feet, Tanaka set the Japanese record for winning a world title in the fewest number of fights. The record had been held by Naoya Inoue, the monster who claimed a junior flyweight world title in his sixth pro fight in April 2013. Tanaka was not far off from the all-time record of three, held by reigning featherweight titlist Vasyl Lomachenko and Thailand’s Saensak Muangsurin, who won a 140 lb. belt in 1975.
And by watching the fight, he accomplished that feat with relative ease. Yedras was doing good wok but was often wide and being countered by Tanaka. Tanaka did well with his speed, power, defense, and balance to cruise to victory. Tanaka did a number on Yedras right eye. The left hooks were finding a home throughout the duration of a fight.
Japan has long loved their fighter, and it seems like another star has been born. From the Kameda brothers to Muira, Uchiyama, and the new beast Inoue, Tanaka enters the fold as one of the many stars from this country. Heck, it was this country that gave Roman Gonzalez his platform and even welcomed Guillermo Rigondeaux with open arms. One thing’s for sure, if you’re a little guy, you’ll me much bigger in the spectrum when showcased in Japan.