Tanaka-Bacasegua Full Report

Tanaka Bacasegua03 1

By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda

Formerly three-division WBO champ Kosei Tanaka (20-1, 11 KOs), 114.75, acquired the vacant WBO junior bantamweight belt as he had a tough time with durable Mexican warrior Christian Bacasegua (22-5-2, 9 KOs), 114.75, but earned a unanimous decision (116-111, 117-110, 119-108) over twelve hard-fought rounds on Saturday in Tokyo, Japan. The official tallies were as follows: Don Trella (US) 116-111, Pat Russell (US) 117-110 and Surat Soikrachang (Thailand) 119-108—all in Kosei’s favor. Bence Kovacs (Hungary) was the referee.

It might not Tanaka’s best performance despite highly favorable odds for him, as he forgot to utilize his trade-mark footwork and was forced to mix it up almost throughout the contest. Bacasegua persistently kept on going forward to exchange body shots in the close range, and Tanaka had to respond to his persistent attacks in the close quarter.

In swapping punches Tanaka was a bit superior in terms of precision. Tanaka, midway in round eight, caught the Mexican with good combinations and scored a knockdown though some ringsiders denied it and thought it a slip as Christian lost his balance after absorbing some solid shots from Tanaka.

Since then, Tanaka regained his footwork and fought well with faster combinations to the fading foe. For Tanaka it was his fourth WBO belt in as many different categories. The newly crowned champ Kosei said, “I wish to take the IBF belt from Fernando Martinez at first and then avenge my previous sole defeat to current WBA champion Kazuto Ioka.”

Promoter: Teiken Promotions.


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