Tanaka vs Gonzalez
Undefeated WBO flyweight champion Kosei Tanaka made a second defense of the title against veteran challenger Jonathan Gonzalez.
Both fighters were clearly feeling each other out in the early rounds. It was obvious that the champion had a height and reach advantage. Gonzalez, who had the faster hands, threw combinations early.
The champion wasn’t using his advantages properly. The southpaw challenger’s movement would create problems for the champion. In trying to stalk his opponent, Tanaka was getting hit with the straight-left quite often.
The champion realized he possibly lost the first two rounds. In response, he came out in the third round looking to shift the momentum. Finally finding his rhythm, he started landing counter right-hands to the body, followed by hooks upstairs. Mixing up the attack, he continued to land straight right-hands to the head and body. He also kept improving defensively, avoiding the challenger’s left-hand counter. The round was about to close when the champion landed a crushing right hook to the body. The challenger would go down after a delayed reaction, and this would close out the round.
In the fourth round, the champion was in full attack mode. He landed combination punches, mixing up his attack to corner the smaller opponent. However, Gonzalez made an adjustment, throwing combinations of his own. He even landed a nice left-hand counter that dropped the champion and shocked everyone.
Rounds five and six saw both men fight effectively. The southpaw fighter was throwing combinations and landing the straight-left to fight his way out of the corner. The champion, still stalking his opponent, was landing good left-hook counter punches, along with landing a beautiful one-two punch combo to the head.
This was beginning to look like it was a close fight.
A BRUTAL ATTACK
The undefeated champion came out in the seventh round attacking the body like a man possessed. Landing powerful left and right hooks to the midsection, he started to slow down the movement of the southpaw fighter. Sensing his opponent was weakening, the champion began unleashing vicious body punches until finally dropping the challenger in the corner. Gonzalez, the #1 rated contender, would beat the count. Desperately trying to survive, he was caught again with a thunderous right-hook to the pit of the stomach and down he went for the second time in the round.
Beating the count again, the ref would warn the challenger to show him something. The Japanese champion didn’t waste anytime going back to the body, landing three hard, right uppercuts that dropped his man for the third time.
Even though the veteran fighter beat the count, the ref stopped it as the crowd cheered to show appreciation for their champion’s devastating performance.
The flyweight division is one of the deepest divisions in boxing, as all the champions have expressed wanting unification bouts. A fight with WBA champion Artem Dalakian would be an excellent match-up as a battle between two of the only undefeated champions remaining in the division. Whatever happens, we here at 3kingsboxing will be waiting and watching in awe of the little guys that always come to fight.
By: Garrisson Bland