Kosei Tanaka vs Roman Gonzalez Potentially In Play for 2024
In the sport’s lower-weight divisions, multi-divisional world champions Kosei Tanaka (19-1, 11 KOs) and Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (51-4, 41 KOs) are two of the very best. Could they face one another for a junior bantamweight world title in 2024?
HERE’S THE SCENARIO
As 3kingsboxing.com reported, reigning WBO junior bantamweight champion Junto Nakatani (26-0, 19 KOs) is contemplating moving up to the bantamweight division. Word on the street is that the move could happen in his next fight.
Should that be the case, the WBO junior bantamweight belt would become vacant. In looking at the rankings at 115, Tanaka is number one, and Gonzalez is ranked second by the WBO. They would be first in line to fight for the possible vacant title.
Tanaka’s last outing was a unanimous decision victory over Carrillo in May 2023 in Tanaka’s home country of Japan. Gonzalez has been out of action since a majority decision defeat in a trilogy contest to Juan Francisco Estrada in December 2022.
THE INGREDIENTS OF A CLASSIC BATTLE
On paper, a matchup between them would be a battle of strength on strength. Both fighters are offensive machines who can crack with either hand. Gonzalez is more aggressive and likes to wear opponents down with a swarm of punches and a withering body attack. Tanaka is more of a quick-fisted boxer-puncher. Both can leave themselves open and susceptible to being hit. It has Fight of the Year Potential written all over it.
But things are far from settled. In September 2023, the IBF ordered Tanaka to face Willibaldo Garcia Perez in a world title eliminator. But Tanaka could bypass that order if a fight with Gonzalez is on the table for the vacant WBO belt. A world title fight against Chocolatito carries a higher profile and would garner more money. This is a developing and fluid situation, so stay tuned to 3kingsboxing for additional updates.