We ended 2018 with a couple of Light Flyweight world title fights, with Hiroto Kyoguchi [京口 紘人] winning the WBA "super" title and Kenshiro [拳四朗] retaining the WBC title. Today we kicked off 2019 with a WBC "Silver" title fight, as China's Jing Xiang (16-4-2, 3) [向静] over-came former WBC world champion Kompayak Porpramook (59-7, 40) [คมพยัคฆ์ ป.ประมุข], aka Suriyan Satorn, and made his first defense of the Silver belt.
The fight saw the Chinese fighter have the perfect start. Xiang started fast behind his quick jab, moved well and made Kompayak look old and slow straight away. The Chinese fighter couldn't miss with his straight right hands to both the head and body of the veteran, who seemed totally unable to cope with the hand speed or the movement of the local through the opening round. The only issue for Xiang was that his shots lacked pop and although he was landing clean the shots never seemed to truly buzz the Thai who ended the round pressing the fight and coming forward.
Kompayak began round 2 by marching forward, pressing the Chinese local and looking to make life really uncomfortable. Xiang, to his credit, used his feet well to avoiding having a tear up with the Thai, and landed the more eye catching blows once again, but this time he was forced to take some in return, and seemed to be momentarily wobbled late in the round.
The pressure of Kompayak seemed to make Xiang realise he wasn't going to have things all his own way unless he made a conscious effort to keep the bout at range. He had success early in round 3 using his reach to create space but by the end of the round the Thai was once again in his face, albeit paying for it with Xiang tagging him with combinations. The Chinese hopeful was again under intense pressure in round 4 as Kompayak looked to turn this into a war, like his sensational first bout with Adrian Hernandez. Jing seemed to bee wanting to out man the veteran and began holding his feet a lot more by the end of round 4, unloading long flurries on the Thai, who looked for big counters. Although it was a round that Xiang won, it was one that he had to work incredibly hard in, and likely took more out of himself than out of the visitor,
Having put so much in round 4 Xiang looked weary in round 5 as Kompayak continued to pressure, landing the heavier shots whilst the Chinese fighter held, struggled to create space and had significantly reduced output. It was clear that things were getting tough for the 29 year old, who would likely have expected an easier task with 36 year old Thai warrior.
By round 6 it seemed like the Thai was himself slowing, his high intensity style seemed less ferocious and Xiang seemed to be able to use his movement to get away before Kompayak could unload his own shots. Having been limited in terms of success in round 6 Kompayak struggled to change things in the first part of round 7, but finished the round with some huge overhand rights and seemed to buzz the Chinese favourite several times in the final minute, a huge minute for the Thai who eaten a monster uppercut earlier in the round before giving Xiang all kinds of hell.
After having been rocked late in round 7 Xiang was back to boxing smartly though much of round 8, moving, using his speed and handcuffing Kompayak with combinations. It was one of the more dominant rounds for the local, though again he was being forced to work hard with Kompayak refusing to back off, despite eating shots from both hands.
In the first minute of round 9 the Thai hit the canvas, it wasn't a knockdown, seemingly called a slip instead, but did seem to be a sign that he was starting to tire and Xiang then began forcing him backwards. For the first time the Thai was starting to feel the shots from Xiang, and was struggling to block any of them. Xiang was sitting on his punches, and really trying to make Kompayak feel them. To his credit the Thai covered up, taking some sting off them, and tried to land the odd counter, but was starting to look like he was coming apart.
With Xiang in the ascendancy heading into round 10 it was clear that Kompayak was going to have to take more risks. sadly for him he began eating cleaner uppercuts from Xiang, who began to see progressively more gaps in the defenses of the Thai. Kompayak was pressing forward, but it was ineffective pressure, in fact if anything it was just making life easier for Xiang as Kompayak walked into punches whilst looking to land his own. Kompayak was again on the wrong end of shots in round 11, as both men slowed. As the pace got slower Xiang had more time to work, more space to think about his next more and more safety knowing that Kompayak was throwing less, and what he was throwing has less on it. Not only was life easier defensively for Xiang but he was also able to land more powerful blows of his own.
Knowing he had to give everything in the final round to have any chance of turning things around Kompayak went to war, summoning everything he had to take the fight to Xiang. He had no option, if he wanted to win. Sadly for him it resulted in him being dropped in the final 30 seconds as Xiang added an exclamation mark to the result.
By the end it was clear Xiang had won, he had easily controlled the bout overall, however that one-sided nature of the fight didn't take away from what was a very early contender for fight of the year. The bout was an action packed throughout, with round 7 and 12 being sensational rounds between the slick skilled local and hard nosed veteran. Despite how one sided the bout was, and how dominant the scores of 120-107, 119-108 and, 119-108
It was an excellent performance from Xiang, and he showed great composure under intense pressure, but it does look like he has some serious way to go before fighting for a world title. As for Kompayak we do wonder if it's maybe time he hangs up the gloves. He's had a long and hard career, with tough bouts against Adrian Hernandez and Koki Eto standing out, and now in his mid 30's it's maybe time he walks away before taking more punishment against the young guns, like he did today.
Former WBO Minimumweight champion Merlito Sabillo (27-5-1, 13) has fallen hard in recent years, dropping from an unbeaten world champion with a 23-0 (12) record. It now seems like he really is fighting for his career at the age of 34
The Filipino may well be about to enter the last chance Saloon, with the recent announcement that he will be back in the ring on September 15th in Qinzhou, China. The forrmer champion will be facing off with Chinese local Jing Xiang (14-4-2, 3) in a bout for the WBC Silver Light Flyweight title.
The winner will shoot up the WBC rankings at 108lbs, and possibly find themselves on the verge of a shot at WBC champion Ken Shiro. For the loser however it would be a major set back. A loss for Sabillo would be his 6th in 10 bouts bout whilst a defeat for Xiang would would end a promising 6 fight winning run.
A second title bout on this same card see former Japanese Heavyweight title contender Kotatsu Takehara (15-11-3, 8) [竹原 虎辰] battle against Chinese foe Zhiyu Wu (8-2-1, 2) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Heavyweight title. Given that the fighters are 40 and 35 respectively we don't see this being the start of some great charge up the rankings, but both men will be looking at this as a chance to get a notable regional title at the tail end of their career.
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