• Kyodo


Kosei Tanaka has returned his World Boxing Organization light flyweight championship belt and will move up to the flyweight division he announced Wednesday.

“I want to do my best on a new note in the flyweight class,” Tanaka told a press conference in Nagoya. “There is no way I could keep weight off anymore for light flyweight.”

Tanaka will take aim at a third WBO title by moving to the flyweight class after capturing the minimumweight title in 2015 and the flyweight belt last December. His is scheduled to fight in his first bout in his new weight class next spring.

Tanaka tied the record among Japanese boxers for the fewest fights needed to hold titles in two weight classes when he won his flyweight belt in his eighth career match.

However, he fractured both of his eye sockets during his second flyweight title defense in September, dashing his hopes of taking on compatriot and World Boxing Association light flyweight champ Ryoichi Taguchi in a unification bout.

Tanaka has won all 10 of his career bouts, six by knockout.

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