Earlier today in Taiwan fans got one of their biggest shows ever, in fact their first show since June 2000. For the most part it wasn't a massive show, and many of the fighters on it were debutants, though the main event was certainly a notable contest established veterans from Japan and Thailand faced off. The bout was on a totally different level to the others on the card and was clearly the bout used to get attention for the show.
The men in question were Japan's teak tough Takuya Watanabe (35-8-1, 20) [渡邉卓也] and 39 year old Thai Maxsaisai Sithsaithong (19-11, 8), who were fighting over the OPBF Silver Super Featherweight title.
Neither man was world class, but both knew how to fight and both knew how to put on a show which they did.
The first round was relatively quiet, with Watanabe seemingly happy to find out what the Thai had in his locker. From that however the well travelled Japanese fighter began to crank up the pressure and let his hands go. This really drew the fighting spirit out of the Thai who stood his feet, especially in round 3, and decided to fight fire with fire, making for some fantastic back and forth sequences.
Sadly for the Thai his natural size disadvantage and his 39 year old body couldn't keep up with Watanabe's pressure. Instead Watanabe began to chip away on the Thai, taking it's toll round by round.
In round 6 Maxsaisai took a real pounding as his stamina wore out and Watanabe's pressure continued to come. He did enough late on to show that he shouldn't be pulled out of the bout, but was on the wrong of some hurtful body shots and solid right hands up top. The shots from Watanabe refused to stop, and the following round he landed a brutal combination of head shots that dropped the Thai, with the referee waving the bout off soon afterwards.
Watanabe had controlled much of the bout, and picked up the title making him the leading contender to the OPBF title, though did suffer a rather nasty looking cut on his right cheek which he would have wanted to have avoided.
For Maxsaisai this bout is likely to be his last at title level. Despite the loss he acquitted himself well and certainly shouldn't be ashamed of his effort here.
As for the fans in Taiwan we would hope the all action performance of the main event fighters will have won over a new audience and hopefully inspired some fighters of the future. The Taiwanese boxing scene has been dead for a while, but hopefully shows like this will become the norm and we will see the country build a stable boxing community in the near future.
Tomorrow fight fans in Taiwan will get the chance to see the biggest show in the country's history.
The main event of the show will see Japan's Takuya Watanabe (34-8-1, 19) [渡邉卓也] battle against Thai foe Maxsaisai Sithsaithong (19-10, 8) in a battle for the OPBF Silver Super Featherweight title.
On Friday the two men took part in their weigh in for the contest, and both fighters made weight, though Watanabe did need to do some last minute work.
The Thai fighter made weight at the first attempt and had no problems at all making weight. That really shouldn't have been any sort of a surprise however given that he had fought as low as Flyweight and was has regularly fought at Featherweight.
Watanabe had originally been fine on the test scales and had apparently been a bit too comfortable, drinking a bit of water. Foolishly he drank too much and came in slightly overweight before going to the toilet and making weight afterwards. He really was just over the limit, coming in 0.1lbs over the limit.
Sadly we've not been informed of the broadcast status of this card, though it is certainly a very interesting match up in regards to how it could help develop boxing in Taiwan. It is, however, expected to be a straight forward win for the teak tough Watanabe.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
A week ago we reported that Takuya Watanabe (34-8-1, 19) [渡邉卓也] would be back in action on September 29th in Taipei, Taiwan as he fights for an OPBF Silver title. Now we've seen a lot more information about that contest being revealed.
The bout will see the teak tough Watanabe battle against Thai veteran Maxsaisai Sithsaithong (19-10, 8), also known as Paiboon Lorkham, who has faced the likes of Hisashi Amagasa, Joel Brunker, Rogelio Jun Doliguez, AJ Banal and Romero Duno. Sadly whilst the Thai has mixed in good company he has been racking up losses in his more notable bouts, earlier this year was beaten by Indonesian homeful Ilham Loeisa on a notable card in Indonesia.
Watanabe is also known for losing his biggest bouts, including losses to Jae Sung Lee, Satoshi Hosono and Masayuki Ito, but has proven himself a battle hardened fighter who certainly belongs at this level. He has claimed various regional titles, such as the WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight and IBF Asia Featherweight title as well as the WBC Youth Lightweight title.
We're expecting to see Watanabe pick up the win here, but he's rarely in a dull fight and we suspect he'll manage to make this one fan friendly and continue to build on his reputation as being a fighter who will put on a show for fans anywhere he fights, something he has now done through much of East Asia.
When we last spoke about this card there was only one other bout confirmed for the show, a female bout between Wensi Huang (9-3-1, 3) and Jutamas Jitpong (4-2, 2). We have now had another bout added to the card, with the unbeaten pairing of Shengling Lin (1-0) and Kenneth Lee (1-0, 1) facing off.
(Image courtesy of the OPBF)
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