Earlier today it was revealed that former WBO Super Featherweight champion Masayuki Ito (25-2-1, 13) [伊藤 雅雪] had not only been training in Thailand, something that was already known, but had been getting top quality sparring over their.
Ito, who returns to the ring in September in a Lightweight bout in Tokyo, has recently been sparring with world ranked Light Welterweight Downua Ruawaiking (16-0, 13) [ดาวเหนือ เรือไวกิ้ง], aka Apinun Khongsong, in Thailand, at the Kiat Keerarin Boxing Camp.
The Thai, who became the IBF mandatory challenger for the IBF Light Welterweight title thanks to a huge KO win over Akihiro Kondo, obviously looked much bigger than Ito through the spar. Though in footage released Ito looked sharp and was finding holes in Downua's defenses, an area the Thai needs to work on before getting a world title fight.
Sadly the footage from the session really was limited though showed enough to suggest that both men were taking some lessons from it, and that it was mutually beneficial.
(Image courtesy of Kiat Kreenin Promotion)
Former World Champion Paul Butler and undefeated IBF number one contender Apinun Khongsong have been confirmed as the reserve fighters for the World Boxing Super Series Semi-Finals at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland on May 18.
The ‘Baby Faced Assassin’, Butler, will be on standby for the hotly anticipated bantamweight brawl between the ‘Monster’ Naoya Inoue and Emmanuel Rodriguez, while Khongsong is ready to step in for the super-lightweight showdown between local hero Josh Taylor and the ‘Beast’ Ivan Baranchyk.
“I’m really excited to be reserve once again,” said Butler, who was previously on call for the quarter-final clash between Ryan Burnett and Nonito Donaire last November at the SSE Hydro. “I loved the whole show and set up last time in Glasgow so I’m looking forward to getting back there. It’s a great card that I can’t wait to sit back and watch myself as a fan.” If not called upon as a reserve, the 30-year-old from Cheshire will be set for his own eight-round contest on the card.
“I’m excited to attend the WBSS tournament in Glasgow,” said Thailand’s Apinun Khonsong. “Both Baranchyk and Taylor are both very good boxers but I am also one of the best at 140lbs so this is my golden opportunity if I may fight on May 18. Whether I fight or not, my power punch will one day make me a world champion.”
With four of the biggest names in world boxing in action, vying to book their place in the finals for the coveted Muhammad Ali Trophy, fans in Glasgow can look forward to a spectacular night of boxing at the SSE Hydro, which will also feature a stacked undercard showcasing the very best of British boxing.
Rising super middleweight star Zach Parker is back following his British title win over Darryll Williams at the SSE Hydro in November last year, and having been kept out of the ring by a shoulder injury sustained in this bout, can now renew his World title charge with a comeback fight against Steven Crambert.
Edinburgh’s ‘Lightning’ Lee McGregor, an IBF Youth and Commonwealth Bantamweight Champion, will look to continue his impressive five-fight KO streak against the Spain-based Nicaraguan-native Cristian Narvaez.
Fresh from a second-round stoppage win over Feriche Mashauri and awaiting a WBC World title eliminator against Anisha Basheel, Northampton’s Chantelle Cameron returns to the ring to face Hungary’s Bianka Majlath.
Having secured a first-round technical knockout win over Dominik Landgraf at the last World Boxing Super Series event in Glasgow, Scottish super middleweight Tommy Philbin is back against British rival Harry Matthews.
Super bantamweight southpaw Reece McFadden, from Motherwell, enters his third professional fight following a TKO win over Stefan Sashev, and will test his ‘Fast Hands’ against Bulgaria’s Georgi Georgie.
Tickets for the Monster WBSS Semi-Finals night, Ivan Baranchyk vs Josh Taylor and Naoya Inoue vs Emmanuel Rodriguez on 18 May at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland are on sale now from TheSSEHydro.com
All the action will be live on DAZN in the U.S. and Sky Sports in the U.K.
WBSS Season 2 Semi-Finals:
27 April - Cajundome, Lafayette, LA, USA
Just moments ago fight fans at the Korakuen Hall were given a major surprise as local favourite Akihiro Kondo (31-8-1, 18) [近藤 明広] suffered his first stoppage loss, in 40 bouts, at the hands of unbeaten Thai Downua Ruawaiking (15-0, 12) [ดาวเหนือ เรือไวกิ้ง], aka Apinun Khongsong, who announced himself as a serious player on the world scene. In fact not only did Downua put himself on the map, but did so in an IBF world title eliminator, earning a shot at the IBF Light Welterweight title with this victory.
Downua, the much taller man, was looking to use his jab early on, but often had them blocked by Kondo who was using his own jab well, especially in round 2. Those jabs of Kondo opened up gaps for him to land more powerful shots, including his left hook and straight right.
Downua, despite being under some pressure, was using his brain, looking for power shots and finding the space for uppercuts when Kondo was up close. In round 5 one of those uppercuts landed sweetly, dropping the teak tough Kondo hard. The fighting spirit of Kondo saw him get to his feet, some how, but he was unsteady and the referee halted the bout, at 1 minute 47 seconds into round 5.
The win for Downua is huge. It's his first away from Thailand, and his first against a fighter of some known value at world level, given that Kondo went 12 rounds in a competitive fight with Sergey Lipinets. Sadly for Kondo, who turns 34 next month and has a long fight back if he intends to get himself another shot at the top.
This fight is expected to be uploaded to the A Sign Boxing youtube channel in the coming days.
Tomorrow fight fans at the Korakuen Hall have the chance to see Akihiro Kondo (31-7-1, 18) [近藤 明広] battle against unbeaten Thai Downua Ruawaiking (14-0, 11) [ดาวเหนือ เรือไวกิ้ง], aka Apinun Khongsong, in an IBF world title eliminator.
Today the two fighters took part in their weigh in for the contest, and both fighters made weight for the bout.
The local veteran weighed in around 139.5lbs for the bout, and looked relaxed describing his preparation as perfect. He spoke about his foe and seemed to be wary of Downua's speed and size, as the Thai really towered over him. Despite being wary he seemed very confident that his experience and power would be the difference as he looks to secure a second world title fight.
Confidence wasn't just Konodo's thing, as Downua also sounded very confident, confidently telling the press that he was going to return to Thailand as the winner. He made weight with real ease, coming in at 138.8lbs, and looked strong, powerful, young and very determined.
Related - Kondo and Downua battle in IBF eliminator!
(Image courtesy of Kiatkreerin Promotions)
Earlier today we saw the announcement of an A Sign Bee show set for February 18th at the Korakuen Hall. There wasn't many details for the show revealed, though their was an announcement that the main event would be an IBF Light Welterweight world title eliminator, with the winner becoming the mandatory for the title.
The match up will see Japan's Akihiro Kondo (31-7-1, 18) [近藤 明広], who is best known for fighting for the IBF title in 2017 against Sergey Lipinets, taking on unbeaten Thai Downua Ruawaiking (14-0, 11) [ดาวเหนือ เรือไวกิ้ง], aka Apinun Khongsong, with the winner to get a shot at the title, currently held by the unbeaten Ivan Baranchyk (19-0, 12).
Kondo, who is a 39 fight veteran, is currently 33 years old and has faced a number of notable fighters during his career. They include Lipinets, Ricky Sismundo, Valentine Hosokawa, Nihito Arakawa and Yoshitaka Kato. At 22 Downua is the much younger man, and is far less experienced, with just 14 fights, but he has been really impressive with 8 stoppages in his last 9 bouts including an excellent win over Sonny Katiandagho earlier this month.
At the moment we're awaiting more announcements for this card, but this is a fantastic main event!
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