Earlier today it was revealed by sources in Thailand that the WBA have ordered the teams in charge of WBA Flyweight champion Artem Dalakian (18-0, 13) and WBA #1 ranked contender Dennapa Kiatniwat (20-1, 15) [เด่นนภา ตราใบห่อ], aka Sarawut Thawornkham, to begin negotiations for a mandatory world title fight. If the teams fail to reach a deal in the next 30 days then purse bids will be called for the bout.
The bout has long been on the lips of the Thai media for a while, and it appears to be the reason as to what Dennapa didn't have an actual fight earlier today, instead we've been told he took part in a public exhibition with Stamp Kiatniwat instead.
For Denappa a bout with Dalakian would be his first world title bout, and would also be seen as a massive step up in class for a man who's best wins are against the likes of Tommy Seran and Michael Camelion. For Dalakian however the bout would be a third title defense, following success defenses against Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep and Gregorio Lebron, and wouldn't be regarded as anything close to a step up in class from those two defenses, or his title win over Brian Viloria last February.
What is perhaps interesting is that the Thai's team are talking about trying to get the fight in Thailand. It they can do that they would increase their man's chances quite significantly.
According to sources in Thailand we'll be seeing both Dennapa Kiatniwat (20-1, 15) [เด่นนภา ตราใบห่อ], aka Sarawut Thawornkham, and Teerachai Kratingdaenggym (39-1, 29) [ถิรชัย กระทิงแดงยิม], aka Tewa Kiram, returning to the ring on January 18th in bouts in Thailand, as both men look to kick off big 2019's.
The 27 year old Dennapa is currently ranked #1 by the WBA at Flyweight and is expected to get a mandatory title shot at current champion champion Artem Dalakian (18-0, 13) in the new year, having been over-looked for Dalakian's defense in December. His opponent for the January bout is set to be Mateo Handig (15-17, 9), in what is planned to be a tune up for the Thai, but the pressure will be on to win, avoid injury and continue to pressure the champion with the #1 ranking.
Handig is best known for for a freak 2012 win over Katsunari Takayama but has since gone 2-12, picking up a string of losses on the road to recognisable Thai's, and it seems that's likely to happen again here.
As for Teerachai he's looking to make his mark at 154lbs and will be defending his regional title, a lightly regarded WBA trinket, whilst trying to climb up the world rankings towards a big international bout. It should be noted that this will only be his second contest since losing to Lucas Mathysse in January 2018, however the plan is certainly for more activity from him this year as he looks to plant himself firmly in the mix at Light Middleweight.
Teerachai's opponent will be Tanzania's Meshack Mwankemwa (17-5-2, 10), who has lost 3 of his last 4. Like many fighters from Tanzania Mwankemwa is very much a fighter who struggles when away from home and is 0-4 outside of his homeland
Union Boxing Promotions recently revealed that they were talking to teams from Japan, Thailand and the Dominican republic in regards to challenging their man Artem Dalakian (17-0, 12).
Dalakian, an Azeri-born Ukrainian, is the current WBA Flyweight champion and is planning to make a voluntary defense of his title in December.
We have long seen Thai fighter Dennapa Kiatniwat(20-1, 15) [เด่นนภา ตราใบห่อ], aka Sarawut Thawornkham, being linked to a bout with champion, with Thai sources suggesting he was close to a deal. His compatriot Noknoi Sitthiprasert (68-5, 42) [นกน้อย ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] is also thought to be in the running for a shot.
The Dominican fighter is almost certainly Gregorio Lebron (21-4, 16), who twice fought Stamp Kiatniwat for the interim title.
Things are a little less clear when it comes to the Japanese fighter, as there are no Japanese fighters currently ranked by the WBA at Flyweight. This could mean that a fighter is considering moving up, or down, in weight too face Dalakian, or that someone is set to find themselves in the next round of WBA rankings, such as recent WBO champion Sho Kimura (17-2-2, 10) [木村翔] .
With the bout planned for December we're expecting to see an announcement made in the coming weeks, and it's going to be interesting to speculate on which fighter may be next to face off with the unbeaten champion.
(Image courtesy of Union Boxing)
According to sources in Thailand talks have began for WBA #2 ranked Flyweight Dennapa Kiatniwat (20-1, 15) [เด่นนภา ตราใบห่อ], aka Sarawut Thawornkham, to get a world title shot at at Azeri born Ukrainian Artem Dalakian (17-0, 12).
At the moment it's unclear when the bout could take place, but the Thai's team are said to be wanting to be the next challenge for Dalakian, who was last seen stopping Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep [ยอดมงคล ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] earlier this year.
The Thai, who is ranked #2 by the WBA at the moment, was in action earlier this month, stopping Crison Omayao, in what was his 20th straight win and his 11th by stoppage. It seemed clear that that bout was to keep him busy and now with talk of his team pursuing Dalakian it's easy to see why.
From Dalakian's point of view the bout would be an easy to make one, one he could get and home and one he would be strongly favoured to win. Sadly though a win over Dennapa would do little to really enhance his reputation.
We suspect we'll hear more about this contest in the weeks to come, and could well see the contest taking place before the end of the year, if not very early in 2019, if Dalakian can't secure a bout with a big name foe.
(Image courtesy Union Boxing Promotion)
On August 10th Thai fight fans will have the chance to see two of their notable youngsters in action.
One of those fighters is former world title challenger Stamp Kiatniwat (20-2, 8) [แสตมป์ กระทิงแดงยิม], who will be looking to bounce back from his May upset loss to Jaysever Abcede. The Thai youngster will be battling against Filipino foe Rolly Sumalpong (10-2-2, 4), who has gone 1-2-1 in his last whilst mixing with the likes of Ken Shiro and Toto Landero. The bout will see both men moving up to Super Flyweight as they fight for the WBA Asia Super Flyweight title.
For both men the bout will be a must win if they want to be relevant going in to 2019. Stamp once looked like a Thai wonder kid but losses to Kazuto Ioka and Abcede have put the breaks on his dreams of being a Thai star whilst Sumalpong, who dropped Ken Shiro in their bout, has been struggling for form over the last few years.
Also on the card will be WBA #2 ranked Flyweight Dennapa Kiatniwat (19-1, 14) [เด่นนภา ตราใบห่อ], with his team suggesting he will be matched well as he looks to prepare for a potential world title fight. His opponent hasn't been named but we're expecting it to be a Filipino or Indonesian foe.
Strangely the WBA list Dennapa by his birth name, Sarawut Thawornkham and have him listed as being 12-0 (7), which leaves his world ranking very hard to explain, despite the fact he's the WBA Asia champion. His record on the WBA's website appears to be incomplete though they have risen him multiple times in recent months, with the Thai youngster having first broken into their rankings back in November 2016.
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