By Tré Berry III🖊️
Today, WBO Flyweight Champion 🇯🇵Kosei Tanaka (15-0-0, 9KO👊) was in peak form, and he took it out against #10 ranked WBO contender 🇨🇳Wulan Tuolehazi (13-4-1, 6KO👊) by setting up, taking advantage of, and delivering a savage knockout over the Chinese boxer in the 3rd round of their contest in front of an audience at the 🏟️OTA-City General Gymnasium card in Tokyo, Japan earlier today.
You could see immediately what Tanaka and his team worked on for this fight, exhibiting much more spry, coordinated footwork. Perhaps this was a focal point of theirs to improve upon after Tanaka had difficulty in dealing with a fleet-footed boxer in 🇵🇷Jonathan Gonzalez last time out back in August. They would use this as a driving force behind Tanaka’s attack to try and take advantage of the Chinese pugilist. Kosei in multiple spots played the aggressor in this one, darting in and out of range, and landing what he wanted due to superior timing and a speed advantage. Tuolehazi tried to line Tanaka up outside, picking and choosing his spots when to fire, but he had his issues seeing the right hand, and dealing with the left hook. As aggressive as Tanaka came out in the 1st round, he ramped the probing and foot pressure up in the 2nd, giving off plenty of feints, landing a couple of solid left hooks to the body, and doing most his work upstairs in the middle of the round. In the waning seconds, Tanaka landed 2 flush right hands, first to the head, and then to the body that Wulan did not take all too well. Tuolehazi is a solid, competent fighter, but it was abundantly clear at this point that he was completely mismatched in the skill department, and it felt like a matter of ⏰time before Kosei would string them together to end the contest at his own whim.
That moment of judgement came in the 3rd round which would ultimately be the last round. Kosei kept cutting the ring off, and was trying to find a home for the left hook, but it wasn’t getting through the way he wanted to, so he started to shoot 1-2’s up the middle once he got Tuolehazi by the ropes, to where he landed scoring shots, but didn’t do the damage. Tanaka in the middle of the 3rd round found his money punch, and it was the uppercut. While Tuolehazi’s back grazed the ropes, Tanaka let off a nasty 3 uppercut combination that sent Tuolehazi spiraling down to the canvas. He would never recover or get up from that as he was counted out by 🗣️Referee Jose Rivera, and just like that, Kosei recorded his 9th knockout to his resume, and did it in style.
To note, Tuolehazi looked to be in bad shape (pictured above) from the knockout as he stayed down on the mat and received medical assistance by a huddle of Doctors in attendance while laying flat on his back for a few minutes, putting an ice pack under his head. Tuolehazi did get up to sit on his stool, which prompted a spatter of applause by the always respectful Japanese contingent in attendance, and was embraced by a concerned Tanaka who came over to his corner to share his respects.
Without a doubt, Kosei Tanaka in my estimation, after extensive vetting and putting the skills under the microscope of his and those who quality – 📍is the best fighter in the world that is at the age of 25 or under (he is currently 24 years of age) . When taking into account his skill level, the vast variety of things he could do in the ring, his movement and coordination tonight, this in my opinion was his finest all-around personal performance of his 15 fight professional career. He has netted his 9th win overall in Title fights in just that short amount of time (he won his first title, that being at Minimumweight in only his 5th contest), and he successfully defended his WBO Flyweight Title for the 3rd time. As one of the Flyweight divisions top fighters, we can’t wait to see what’s next for the Japanese star.