The #1 ranked WBO Flyweight contender 🇵🇷Jonathan Gonzalez (22-3-1, 13KO) showed up for this one and provided a very credible challenge, however WBO Flyweight World Champion 🇯🇵Kosei Tanaka (14-0-0, 8KO) surfaces victorious again and retained his belt after eventually solving the tricky puzzle put in front of him, and catching up to Gonzalez in the 7th round where he put his man away.
Gonzalez in the first round circled the ring while Tanaka was the aggressor, and Gonzalez exhibited impressive speed and leap in ability to land the quick cross from the southpaw stance, getting a good one in while Tanaka was busy assessing his opponent. While the Puerto Rican challenger further deemed himself worthy of carrying the distinction of a #1 contender, Kosei started to pick his spots after collecting the data needed to handle his shifty opponent. In the 3rd round, Kosei delivered a strong right cross to the body that floored his opponent, forcing him to take the 8 count, and he did so while successfully escaping that round. Gonzalez did himself a favor in the 4th round by scoring what was a flash knockdown at the end of the 4th round with him landing a clubbing shot that didn’t land clean, but Kosei was off balanced, thus his glove touching the canvas. Gonzalez stepped up the workrate in the next couple rounds while Kosei was walking his man down and making careful investments for later work. That work came sooner than later, as Tanaka started landing the heavy artillery in the 7th round, and eventually aggressively stepped in to floor his opponent with a well placed left hook to the body after firing a right hand upstairs to divert Gonzalez attention. Tanaka went in for the finish and landed another heavy body shot to Gonzalez to put him down to the canvas once again. Gonzalez got up and was out of answers in surviving the onslaught, and Tanaka caught up to him once again, hammering away with 3 right uppercuts to the body to crumble Gonzalez. Gonzalez showed a lot of gumption in beating the count, but the Referee rightly felt that he was he recipient of too much punishment, and called a halt to the bout, securing a TKO victory for Tanaka and successfully defending his WBO Flyweight Title for the second time.
Gonzalez impressed me as well as the audience in attendance, perhaps enough to rate him among some of the other top-tier Flyweights in the division, and would like to see him again put under challenging circumstance with one of those other high ranking boxers in the Flyweight division. Tanaka, while he had a difficult go at it early showcased why he is so highly touted in constantly making all the adjustments necessary, and eventually finding the lane he needed to drive through in order to subdue his man and get to the job done. It is rare that you ever see an opponent knocked down 4 times, all by body shots, and Kosei’s adaptability was evident in that, as he hadn’t heavily attacked the body early, instead over time gravitating towards it as a focal point to take the legs, and eventually everything away from Gonzalez in this contest.