It's been less than a week since Amnat Ruenroeng (13-0, 5) defended his IBF Flyweight title against Kazuto Ioka (14-1, 9) but already the Thai press are going crazy about his next defence.
One of the stories that we've been told is doing the rounds is that Amnat's team is wanting a monster pay day to fight China's Zou Shiming (4-0, 1). By monster pay day we really do mean a major payment. The rumoured figure has set at a staggering $1,000,000. That figure would be a record for a Thai boxer and would net him around ฿32,608,000, in local Thai currency.
Whilst we know fights in Macau have a larger budget than they do in other places in Asia, for example Bangkok or Tokyo, this would still be an astonishingly high figure if Amnat was to get paid it, and lets not forget that he would likely be the B side, despite being the champion. If Amnat was to get $1,000,000 we'd assume Shiming would get even more and as a result it would almost certainly be the richest Flyweight fight in history.
We'll be honest we think Amnat's team is suggesting the $1,000,000 pay day as a way to see how much Arum will offer and can't really see the Thai making that sum though we have to respect their balls for naming a price that is unheard of for a Thai.
Another story about Amnat is that the Thai could well be going back to Japan either later this year or early next year. From what we've been told it won't be Ioka that Amnat will be targeting but instead Naoya Inoue (6-0, 5), the current WBC Light Flyweight champion.
Inoue's next bout is expected to be a defence of his world title, though we do know he struggles with the 108lb limit and will be moving to Flyweight in the very near future. If, as expected, Inoue defends his world title in September, he probably won't be ready for another fight this year. What we would expect however is that an Inoue/Amnat contest could be set up for early 2015 with Inoue being pushed as the man to avenge Ioka and Amnat trying to build on his new found reputation as an "upsetter".
It's going to be interesting to see what the rest of this year brings for the Thai, though in the tough Flyweight division there are very few easy fights and having proven himself against Ioka it's hard to see many fighters actually beating the skilful Amnat who may well be the division's best kept secret.
(Image courtesy of Boxrec.com)
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