Kosei Tanaka to Battle Masayoshi Hashizume in Tokyo Summer Showdown!
Three-division world champion Kosei Tanaka (16-1, 9 KOs) will return to the ring on June 29. He will face WBO Asia Pacific junior bantamweight champion Masayoshi Hashizume (19-0-2, 11 KOs). In concert with his promoter, Kiyoshi Hatanaka, he made the announcement via social media as the match will take place at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
ON THE REBOUND
Ranked by three of the four sanctioning bodies at 115 (#3 WBO, #5 IBF, #6 WBC), the former world champ is still trying to shake off the effects of the first loss of his professional career. In December 2020, the now 26-year-old was stopped in eight rounds by the current WBO junior bantamweight champ, Kazuto Ioka. Up until that point, Tanaka was on a roll. Having won world titles at 105, 108, and 112 pounds, he was attempting to win a world title in a fourth division. However, Ioka gave him a boxing lesson. In his first fight since that defeat, Tanaka struggled to a split decision win over former world title challenger Sho Ishida in December of 2021.
Hashizume comes in with a less sparkling resume, and facing Tanaka is a huge step up in class. However, in his last bout, the 30-year-old southpaw scored a decision win over Akio Furutani to win the then-Asia Pacific and OPBF junior bantamweight titles. It was the biggest win of his career as he’s now ranked fourteenth by the IBF at 115. A win over Tanaka would be considered a big upset, boost him further up the world rankings, and move him closer to a world title shot.
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By: Michael Wilson Jr.