Kosei Tanaka vs. Moises Fuentes – Results
By Jim Dower: Undefeated #2 WBO Kosei Tanaka (8-0, 5 KOs) totally dominated and stopped #1 WBO Moises Fuentes (24-3-1, 13 KOs) in beating him by a 5th round knockout to claim the vacant World Boxing Organization light flyweight title on Saturday night at the Memorial Center in Gifu, Japan.
The 21-year-old Tanaka trapped Fuentes against the ropes in round 5 and unloaded on him to knock him down. Referee Raul Caiz Jr. then stopped the fight immediately. The official time of the stoppage was at 1:52 of round five. The 29-year-old Fuentes was bleeding badly from his nose while he was down on the canvas. He looked pretty beaten up from all the heavy shots that he’d been in the 5th round.
Moments before the knockdown, Tanaka had landed six hard head shots that almost dropped Fuentes. Despite getting hit with a lot of big punches, Fuentes chose to stay against the ropes. This ultimately proved to be his undoing, because Tanaka hit him with everything he had until Fuentes fell down.
It was an impressive win for Tanaka, because Fuentes is a former WBO minimumweight champion, and no one had ever beaten him like that before in his career. What made it really tough on Fuentes was the speed of Tanaka. He showed very fast hand speed, and he was frequently shifting punching angles in his attacks. Tanaka was able to move his feet quickly when in target range of Fuentes, and this allowed him to hit him wherever he wanted to without Fuentes being able to do much about it.
In round 3, Fuentes was trapped repeatedly against the ropes by Tanaka and pounded hard by an avalanche of shots from the Japanese fighter. Fuentes was hit with some really big punches, especially in the last 20 seconds of the round when he was against the ropes. Fuentes was like a punching bag in the round. He could do nothing but taken shots. His nose was reddened.
Fuentes never stood a chance tonight, because Tanaka was much too quick for him. In the 4th round, Tanaka hit Fuentes with a big left hand to the head that sent him stumbling across the ring from the force of the blows. It was the beginning of the end for Fuentes, because he was getting worked over by Tanaka, and he looked absolutely discouraged. Fuentes didn’t have the hand speed to compete no matter how hard he tried.
For Tanaka, the win over Fuentes was his second division world title he’s captured. In May of 2015, Tanaka beat Julian Yedras by a 12 round unanimous decision to win the vacant WBO World minimumweight title. Tanaka defended the WBO title once in beating Vic Saludar by a 6th round knockout.
With Tanaka winning the WBO light flyweight title, it would be interesting to see how he’d do against WBO super flyweight Naoya Inoue. That fight is a natural, as both guys are from Japan, both talented, and both are good punchers. The boxing fans in Japan would no doubt like to see a fight between those two guys.