World Boxing Organization light flyweight champion Kosei Tanaka has returned his title, an informed source said Friday.
The 22-year-old will likely aim for his third WBO title by moving to the flyweight class after capturing the minimumweight title in 2015 and the flyweight belt last December.
Tanaka tied the record among Japanese boxers for the fewest fights needed to hold championships 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 WBA light flyweight champ Ryoichi Taguchi in a unification bout.
Tanaka is 10-0 (six knockouts) in his pro career.
IN OTHER NEWS: Former IBF Bantamweight World Champion Lee Haskins will return to action on December 15th at the Merthyr Leisure Centre live on S4C. Haskins' last fight was a valiant points loss against Belfast boxer Ryan Burnett for the Bristolian's World Title back in June. An injury suffered during the contest forced Haskins to delay a return to the ring but the former champion is now fully recovered and has his eye on recapturing his world championship belt.
"After losing my title I took some time out with my family and soon realised there was more that I wanted to achieve in my boxing career. The rest has done me good, the injury I picked up in the Burnett fight certainly affected my ability to perform to my best but I am taking nothing away from Ryan's performance. My focus is solely on becoming world champion again, a win in Merthyr on 15th December is the first step back on my mission."
Haskins will feature on the action packed fight card headlined by WBC International Female Bantamweight Champion Ashley Brace and Spaniard Melania Sorroche boxing for the vacant European Title.
Promoter Jamie Sanigar is pleased to add Lee Haskins to the bill:
"The addition of a former World Champion to the already stacked card is an added bonus for fight fans. I've seen a renewed vigour in Lee and one thing I have learned throughout his career is that you can never write him off. Welsh fans are in for a treat and the fact that this show is the first live boxing broadcast that S4C have done makes the event even more special and is a huge boost for Welsh boxing."
The event will be headlined by Wales' only professional female boxer Ashley Brace who is undefeated in 7 fights since turning professional in 2015 and has fast tracked her way to the top with several impressive performances, most notably a TKO victory in April over Alexandra Vlajk to claim the WBC International title.
Chief support to Ashley Brace will be the Welsh lightweight championship featuring prospect Gavin Gwynne from Merthyr challenging Cardiff's Henry Janes. Janes is on a strong run of form and has taken the scalps of three undefeated prospects in the past year including fellow Welshman Jason Sillet. Gwynne who has won all seven of his professional contests is ready to make a step up in class and believes his time is now.
The second Welsh Title fight features Cardiff's Nathan Thorley against Pontypridd's Jermaine Asare for the vacant Welsh Light Heavyweight title. Both Welshman were standout amateurs for Wales both winning bronze medals at Commonwealth Games, Asare winning in Delhi back in 2010 and Thorley in Glasgow 2014.
The undercard will feature Cardiff's Craig Kennedy who will be looking to bounce back after an unsuccessful challenge for the British title back in May. London 2012 Olympic Silver medallist Fred Evans will be looking to secure his third pro win. Undefeated prospects Daniel Barton from Newport and Swansea's Kristian Touze also feature along with the pro debut of Jacob Robinson the son of former World Champion Steve Robinson.