Three-Time World Champ Kosei Tanaka Returns To Face Sho Ishida

Three-Division World Champ Tanaka Returns To the Ring To Face Tough-As-Nails Ishida

Three-division world champ Kosei Tanaka flexes at weigh-in, Sho Ishida flexes at weigh-in
Kosei Tanaka (left), Sho Ishida

Three-Division World Champ Tanaka Returns To the Ring To Face Tough-As-Nails Ishida


Three-division world champion Kosei Tanaka (15-1, 9KOs) will make his much-anticipated return to the ring in December. He announced on social media he will face former world title challenger Sho Ishida (29-2, 15 KOs) in Nagoya, Japan. It will be a 10-round junior bantamweight contest at a venue TBD.

Kosei Tanaka announces December return against Sho Ishida
Kosei Tanaka announces December return against Sho Ishida

PICKING UP THE PIECES

This is Tanaka’s first fight since getting stopped in eight rounds by WBO world 115-pound champ Kazuto Ioka. It was his first setback as a pro. Up until then, Tanaka was rolling through the competition in the lower-weight divisions. The 26-year-old resident of Nagoya won world titles at 105, 108, and 112 pounds. Some in the boxing media were starting to recognize him as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport.

However, Ioka took him to school and gave him a boxing lesson. How Tanaka was exposed and outclassed was a surprise to many who anticipated a close, competitive match. Now ranked #8 by the WBO at junior bantamweight, it’s time for the talented former champ to work his way back to the top.

NO SOFT TOUCH

His return is against a fighter who is no slouch. Ranked #5 by the IBF and #9 by the WBO at 115, Ishida is a world-class opponent. One would expect that the 29-year-old from Osaka, Japan views the fight against Tanaka on par with a world title fight. So, expect him to be highly motivated at the opportunity to score what would be considered an upset.

On an interesting side-note, both fighters used to be stablemates. It would have been easy for Tanaka to fight an easy opponent. Instead, he returns to face a hardened and sturdy guy who should be quite familiar with him. That speaks to the confidence he and his team has in himself. On paper, this is a quality scrap.

The overlying question will be, what lesson has Kosei Tanaka learned from the fight against Ioka? That will be answered for sure when he steps in the ring against Ishida.

By: Michael Wilson Jr.

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About Mike W.1963 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for 3kingsboxing.com.