Kosei Tanaka's next WBO flyweight title defense is set and will take place on Japan's special New Year's Eve boxing shows.
Tanaka will defend his title against rising Chinese star Wulan Tuolehazi on December 31 at the Ota-City Gymnasium in Tokyo. The fight joins the previously confirmed WBO super flyweight title bout between four-division titleholder Kazuto Ioka and mandatory challenger Jeyvier Cintron.
This will be Tanaka's third title defense since he defeated Sho Kimura in an action-packed bout back in September 2018. Since then, Tanaka, who has won titles at minimumweight and light flyweight, has successfully retained his title with wins over Ryoichi Taguchi and Jonathan Gonzalez.
After losing three of his first five pro bouts, Tuolehazi has emerged as one of China's top contenders, entering the bout on a 12-fight unbeaten streak. This will be Tuolehazi's fifth fight of 2019, winning the WBA International flyweight title back in March.
In other Japanese boxing news, the planned WBC and IBF light flyweight world title unification between Ken Shiro and Felix Alvarado has been canceled. The fight was originally set to take place on December 23 as part of a tripleheader of title bouts that will also feature WBA "Regular" middleweight champion Ryota Murata and IBF flyweight champion Moruti Mthalane.
The reason for the fight between Shiro and Alvarado being called off is due to Alvarado suffering a bronchial problem. The news was first reported by Levi Luna. According to Boxing Scene, the show will go on as planned, but there is still no word on if Shiro will remain on the card against a replacement opponent.