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Tanaka wins second title defense with TKO in ninth

Kyodo

Kosei Tanaka set the stage for a light flyweight title unification bout when he defended his World Boxing Organization crown in the weight category Wednesday at Edion Arena Osaka.

The fight against 13th-ranked contender Rangsan Chayanram of Thailand, who fights under the name of Palangpol CP Freshmart, was stopped in the ninth round with Tanaka battering his opponent following a standing eight count.

“I don’t have all that much going for me in the looks department, but I think it was an attractive fight,” said the 22-year-old Tanaka, who improved his record to 10-0 with six knockouts.

“My opponent has left the ring, but he gave it a great effort, coming all the way from Thailand. He fought all the way until the end and never let up and I’m grateful to him for that.”

The 32-year-old Rangsan’s record fell to 24-8.

Tanaka will now look to take on fellow Japanese Ryoichi Taguchi, who successfully defended his World Boxing Association light flyweight crown for the sixth time on July 24.

On the same card, third-ranked challenger Ryosuke Iwasa dethroned International Boxing Federation super bantamweight champion and fellow Japanese Yukinori Oguni, who was defending his title for the first time, in a sixth-round technical knockout.

The 27-year-old Iwasa, who said winning the world title had been his “long-cherished wish,” added, “It was a long and tough road here, but there were many people who cheered me on. This belt is very valuable.”

He now has a 24-2 record, while Oguni, 29, is 19-2 with a draw.