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!
Earlier today in Thailand fight fans had the chance to see the fact rising Downua Ruawaiking (14-0, 11) record his second defense of the IBF Pan Pacific Light Welterweight title, and put on one of his best performances so far.
The touted Thai was facing off with Filipino Sonny Katiandagho (12-4, 7), in what looked like being a decent test on paper. The Thai, who has faced limited opposition since taking a decision over Adam Diu Abdulhamid in August 2017, took control early against Katiandagho.
In round 2 the Filipino fought aggressively, taking risks to get at the taller man. That didn't work out well for Katiandagho who was dropped by a sharp counter right hand. To his credit it seemed like a flash knockdown, and Katiandagho was up quickly, but it was clear that Downua had the power to end the fight. The knockdown didn't seem to hurt the Filipino physically but it seemed to destroy his confidence, and he was dropped a second time later in the round, from a massive right hand.
Again Katiandagho would quickly get to his feet, though this time it seemed like he had been buzzed and the shot had been a very eye catching one. He made it to the end of the round, but didn't look like he had recovered in round 3, as he threw wild shots, chasing the Thai. Again Katiandagho left himself open for counter shots, and again he would be punished, eating another huge right hand. This time Katiandagho was done, recovering and going straight to his corner and being saved from further punishment.
Although their was a huge gulf in class here it is worth noting that Katiandagho had recently gone 12 rounds with Baishanbo Nasiyiwula, and has previously scored upset wins over Hyun Woo Yuh and Rafik Harutunjan, suggesting that Downua may well be a genuine prospect, and a real puncher at this level.
Earlier today in Thailand fans had the chance to see the unbeaten Downua Ruawaiking (13-0, 10) successfully retain the IBF Pan Pacific Light Welterweight title, as he scored a 5th round TKO win over Indonesian foe Ray Rahardjo (6-12-5, 2).
The Thai, who won the title last August, when he out pointed under-rated Filipino Adam Diu Abdulhamid, was never expected to be tested here and did as he pleased with a visitor who was horribly over-matched.
Sadly for the Indonesian this was his 10th stoppage loss and given he was dropped twice by Dowuna we do wonder about his punch resistance, and long term health. That's not to say Downua can't punch, but with those stoppage losses piling on his record we do wonder how much more his body can take.
(Image courtesy of Thairec.com)
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