Tanaka defeats Bacasegua, wins his fourth WBO belt

By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda (to come soon)

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.

It wasn’t Tanaka’s best performance despite prefight favorable odds for him, as he forgot to use his trademark footwork and was forced to mix it up almost throughout the contest. Bacasegua kept on going forward to exchange body shots in the close range, and Tanaka was forced to respond to his persistent attacks in the close quarter. But Tanaka caught the Mexican with good combinations and scored a knockdown midway in round eight. Since then, Tanaka regained his footwork and fought well with fast combinations to the fading foe.

For Tanaka it was his fourth WBO belt in as many different categories.

Promoter: Teiken Promotions.

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  • Full credit to Tanaka and congrats to him for titles in four weight classes all with the WBO (and I think Navarrete is about to have a chance to join him on that later this year), but it’s always hard to shake for me just how far behind he was when he fought Ioka. I think Tanaka, himself, even said something about it.

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