Kosei Tanaka Overwhelms Masayoshi Hashizume in Stoppage Win!
A significant clash happened at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan as three-division world champion Kosei Tanaka (17-1, 10 KOs) took on Masayoshi Hashizume (19-1-2, 11 KOs) in a twelve-round junior bantamweight contest.
It wasn’t that long ago that pundits hailed Tanaka as one of the elite fighters in the lower-weight division. A world champion at 105, 108, and 112 pounds, he was one of the faces of Japanese boxing. Many pundits abroad rewarded his talent and fight resume as he became a mainstay in the 3Kings Boxing Top Ten Fighter rankings.
Then came the night of December 31, 2020. That night, he was looking to become a four-division world champion when he challenged reigning WBO 115-pound champ Kazuto Ioka. Unfortunately for Tanaka, his effort failed as Ioka gave him a boxing lesson before stopping him in eight rounds.
Knocked off his perch, the 27-year-old returned to the ring in December 2021 but struggled en route to a split decision win over former world title challenger Sho Kimura. Ranked third by the WBC, fifth by the IBF, and sixth by the WBA at 115, Tanaka was determined to regain the form he displayed before his loss to Ioka.
But he faced a Hashizume who saw Tanaka as his moment to prove he deserves mentioning among the big-time fighters in a stacked junior bantamweight division. The 28-year-old southpaw has shown steady progress over the years, but Japanese critics are in unison that Tanaka represented a big step up in class.
ONE MAN SHOW
After a feel-out opening round which the judges scored for Hashizume, Tanaka went to work in round two. He began to use his advantage in speed and quickness to find a home for jabs and power
shots to the head and body. Once the three-time champ opened up and became comfortable, this fight was in the bag.
Hashizume was a willing warrior, but had no answers as he was getting beat up and bleeding from the right eye. By the end of round four, you could tell the end was near.
Tanaka went in finisher mode in the fifth. Sufficiently tendering his foe in the previous rounds, he went on an all-out assault. With less than ten seconds left in the round and Hashizume clearly
hurt and getting punished, referee Nobuhiro Matsuara wisely called a halt to the contest.
At his best, Tanaka is a beautiful fighter to watch and an offensive machine. This win showed he’s a genuine threat for anyone in what is a loaded junior bantamweight division.
Reading Time: 2 minutes
By: Michael Wilson Jr.