Kosei Tanaka vs Ryoichi Taguchi Preview Mar. 16th
WBO World Flyweight Champion Kosei Tanaka of Gifu, Japan will de defending his title for the first time in his hometown this Saturday, March 16th when he takes on fellow countryman Ryoichi Taguchi of Tokyo. Tanaka won the title by majority decision from Sho Kimura last September in 2018’s fight of the year by my estimation. Taguchi last fought in May when he dropped a unanimous decision and his IBF and WBA Light Flyweight Titles to Hekkie Budler by scores of 114-113 across the board.
Tanaka vs Taguchi Betting Odds
- Ryoichi Taguchi +225
- Kosei Tanaka -300
Tanaka is just 23 years old and is already a been a world champion in three different weight classes. He’s fought just 12 times as a pro and owns a perfect record of 12-0 along with 7 Kos. In fact, he and Vasyl Lomachenko share the world record for the fewest fights to become three-weight world champions. Tanaka is well known for his volume punching and aggression and is an extremely exciting boxer to watch. He turned pro in 2013 after a fine amateur career and has boxed 96 rounds since.
Tanaka won the vacant WBO Minimumweight Title in 2015 with a unanimous decision over Julian Yedras and defended it once. He stopped Moises Fuentes in the fifth round a year later to capture the vacant WBO Light Flyweight Title and defended it against Angel Acosta and Rangsan Chayanram and added his third title against Kimura. Tanaka stands just over 5-feet-4-inches tall and has a wingspan of 63.5 inches. His knockout ratio is currently 58 per cent, but he typically overwhelms his opponents with his non-stop punching.
Taguchi is nine years older at the age of 32 and he has 228 rounds of experience under his belt since turning pro back in 2006. He’s 5-feet-6-inches tall with a 67-inch reach so has a 1.5-inch height advantage over Tanaka as well as a 3.5 edge in reach. Taguchi’s first loss came to Masayoshi Segawa via an eight-round unanimous decision in 2009. He won the vacant Japanese Light Flyweight Title in 2013 with a unanimous decision over Yuki Chinen then then suffered his second loss and the title when Naoya Inoue beat him by unanimous decision.
Taguchi captured the WBA Light Flyweight Crown in 2014 with a unanimous decision over Alberto Rossel and successfully defended it seven times before running into Budler last year. His two career draws were against Carlos Canizales over 12 rounds in 2016 and a 10-round affair with Masayuki Kuroda in 2012. Taguchi isn’t known as a power puncher as his current knockout ratio stands at 38 per cent. He’s also an excellent boxer and legitimate former world champ who has a fan-friendly style.
This is an excellent matchup between two exciting Japanese boxers who are definitely world class. Taguchi will try to use his size advantage, but may have a hard time dealing with Tanaka’s volume punching. Also, with Tanaka being close to a decade younger I think he’ll be able to do enough to retain his world title in a terrific contest.
I’m going with Tanaka’s nonstop punching style.
Play: Tanaka -141 @ BetOnline.ag
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