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.
Archie ‘Sharpshooter’ Sharp is out to steal the show at the Copper Box when he fights on the undercard of a world-title double-header on Saturday night.
While James DeGale and Lee Selby are the headline acts, with both men defending their IBF world titles, 22-year-old super-featherweight Sharp (10-0, 6KOs) is keen to impress this weekend on the Frank Warren-promoted bill.
Aiming for his fifth stoppage win on the spin against veteran journeyman Rafael Castillo, ‘Sharpshooter’ reckons he will shoot the lights out in London.
“I’m looking forward to the fight. I’ve been training hard and I’m buzzing to get in there now. It’s a very good card – James DeGale, Lee Selby and Daniel Bubois are all big names, so I’m glad to be on the show,” said Sharp.
“It’s a big card, big names on there and, if I can, I’ll definitely be out to steal the limelight with a big performance. I want to make sure people are aware of me, so that means I need to put on a performance for everyone because I have a lot of people coming to support me and I’ll be keen to put on a show.”