Tanaka to go for knockout in WBO super flyweight title bout

Japanese boxer Kosei Tanaka aims to win by knockout when he faces Mexico’s Christian Bacasegua in Tokyo on Feb. 24 for the vacant World Boxing Organization super flyweight title.

“It would be best if I could get a KO,” Tanaka, who has won WBO belts in three lighter weight divisions, said Monday at his gym in Nagoya. “I don’t want to win in an anticlimactic showing.”

Kosei Tanaka poses at his gym in Nagoya on Monday.

Kosei Tanaka poses at his gym in Nagoya on Monday.
| Kyodo

Tanaka and Bacasegua, who are ranked first and second, respectively, will fight at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

“The important thing is to prevent an opponent who comes forward from hitting me,” Tanaka said of the Mexican fighter.

The 28-year-old also hinted at his hope for a title unification match against WBA champion Kazuto Ioka, saying, “I want to win (the upcoming bout) overwhelmingly and go to the next stage.”

It will be the first world championship fight for Tanaka since he suffered the first loss of his career at the hands of Ioka in December 2020.

Tanaka became the WBO’s minimumweight champion in May 2015, light flyweight champion in December 2016 and flyweight champion in September 2018.