Earlier this week we reported that a deal had been reached for WBA Flyweight champion Artem Dalakian (18-0, 13) to defend his title in June against #1 contender Dennapa Kiatniwat (20-1, 15) [เด่นนภา ตราใบห่อ], aka Sarawut Thawornkham. At the time however there was no set date for that bout, other than "June".
Not however we can report the date has been revealed and the bout will be going ahead on June 15th and will be hosted in Kyiv.
Although taking place on June 15th in Europe it will notably be 4am in Thailand.
At the moment no TV details have been announced though it does seem like a deal will be struck for some live broadcast within Thailand, as well as a live broadcast in Ukraine.
As mentioned in a previous article, this will be Dalakian's third defense of the title, following defenses against Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep and Gregorio Lebron whilst the 27 year old Thai has won his last 20, but his competition has been relatively poor against regional journeymen.
We're awaiting details of the under-card, though our guess is that it will be mostly local talent and prospects picking up their next wins.
Earlier today Thai sources began to report that a deal has now been done for the WBA Flyweight title fight, between unbeaten champion Artem Dalakian (18-0, 13) and #1 contender Dennapa Kiatniwat (20-1, 15) [เด่นนภา ตราใบห่อ], aka Sarawut Thawornkham.
The full details haven't yet emerged though all sources are reporting that it will take place in June in Ukraine, giving Dalakian home advantage.
For the Ukrainian champion the bout will be his third defense of the title, following defenses against Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep and Gregorio Lebron. Like those two this will be at home, as he looks to build his reputation as a top quality champion. For the Thai however this will be his first world title bout, and his biggest test so far, by far. Coming in to this the 27 year old Thai has won his last 20, but his competition has been relatively poor against regional journeymen.
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)
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