With the portfolio brought on by the two fighters, there is a huge expectation from the two and the hardcore boxing Fans can’t help but dream of fireworks from the opening bell. Tanaka acknowledges the fight will be an unforgettable one and talks of the respect he feels for Ioka.
“It will be an unforgettable fight on New Year’s Eve. I respect Ioka as a professional boxer, I think he’s cool. The fight will be challenging but I have confidence for the win. I didn’t change anything about my training to fight in the new division, I can perform my boxing at a high level,” Tanaka told Boxing News.
Tanaka, who has hardly failed to grace us in every New Year’s Eve, fought a brutal 12 round battle with Sho Kimora to capture the WBO flyweight title two years ago, in what was considered by many as the 2018 fight of the year.
Tanaka admits to feeling worried about how he will perform in his fights and that always serves as a good motivation in the build up to his fights. He chooses the Kimura fight as his best fight due to the huge pressure he felt in the buildup and how he was able to overcome those worries with an exceptional performance.
“I’ve always worried before my fights. That’s why I would train very hard and believed that’s the way to be stronger. The more pressure involved the stronger I felt I would become. The fight with Sho Kimura, the three-division champ, was the best. I had massive worry before that match, but I soaked up the pressure and gave it my very best shot,” Tanaka said.
Tanaka aims to bring more attention to the lighter weight classes with his interesting fights and believes that facing tough challenges in real fights helps build a fighter more than sparring.
“I think my fights are interesting to watch so I will try to increase the value of the lighter weight classes with a lot of achievements. You must fight with tough guys to become tougher. Sparring is fine, but the most important thing is the experience gained in real fights. I’ve been fighting because I want to be stronger. I believe my fans are looking forward to seeing tough matches, so that’s what I’m doing.”