Earlier today in Thailand fans and the media had the opportunity to see Indonesian veteran Muhammad Rachman (65-11-5, 35) take part in a public practice session ahead of his WBA interim world title challenger against Knockout CP Freshmart (9-0, 5).
The 43 year old Indonesian spent much of the session hitting the pads and although he is old he did manage to show glimpses of the talent that saw him twice holding world titles at the weight. Sadly at 43 those glimpses really were little more than fleeting moments.
Given his experience it's though he could fiddle a few rounds out of his younger and unbeaten foe though the clear view is that Knockout should stop Rachman. On paper that's an incredible achievement given that Rachman has only been stopped once in 81 fights, by the sensational Denver Cuello, though not too impressive when one considers Rachman's age and inactivity in recent years..
Despite his age Rachman did look in relatively good shape and is likely to be confident in upsetting the unbeaten Knockout, much like he did almost 4 years ago, when he surprisingly stopped the then unbeaten Kwanthai Sithmorseng to claim the WBA "regular" title. Can lightning strike twice for Rachman? We suspect not, but in the theatre of the unpredictable anything can happen.
(Image courtesy of Thairec.com)
This week will see a lot of boxing attention shared between Macau and the US. In Macau fans will get to see Zou Shiming (6-0, 1) battle against IBF Flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng (14-0, 5) as Zou takes his first step up to world class. In the US fans will see the PBC series of fights kick off with Keith Thurman (24-0-0-1, 21) battling against Robert Guerrero (32-2-1, 18) and Adrien Broner (29-1, 22) fighting against John Molina Jr (27-5, 22).
Before either of those shows however we get a interim world title bout from Thailand featuring a veteran and a relative novice.
The veteran is Indonesian stalwart Muhammad Rachman (65-11-5, 35) who will be taking on WBA interim Minimumweight champion Knockout CP Freshmart (9-0, 5) on Thursday.
Earlier today these two men took part in a face off soon after Rachman had arrived in Thailand. Surprisingly, given his age and experience in the ring, Rachman didn't actually look too bad. Sure he looked weathered around the face but certainly not as bad as some other, much younger, fighters have done in recent times. Of course Knockout looked the much younger man and looked relatively fresh faced when compared to his upcoming foe.
Notable it seems that Rachman is only marginally over the 105lb limit as of this morning and is unlikely to struggle to make the Minimumweight limit for the fight. That's despite being 43 years old, a staggering age for a lower weight fighter. As for the 24 year old Knockout it's unlikely he'll struggle to make weight for what will be the first defense of his title.
A win for knockout is likely to see his team chase a bout with "Regular" champion Hekkie Budler (28-1, 9). This means Knockout is one of two Asian fighters who has made it clear he wants a bout with the South African, the other being Katsunari Takayama (28-7-0-1, 11). If it comes to the two of them then it would seem likely that Knockout would have to wait, though would get a shot in the next 18 months or so. First however Knockout will need to over-come Rachman.
Knockout CP Freshmart Vs Muhammad Rachman officially announced, with undercard bouts!
Knockout CP Freshmart to defend against Indonesian veteran Muhammad Rachman
(Image courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/muaysakolarchew)
We've known for a while that Knockout CP Freshmart (9-0, 5) would be defending his WBA interim Minimumweight title against Indonesian veteran Muhammad Rachman (65-11-5, 35). Today that bout was finally announced at a press conference held in Thailand.
The bout will see the 24 year old Knockout make the first defence of his "title", that he won by out pointing Carlos Buitrago last year, and take a huge step towards getting a shot at WBA regular champion Hekkie Budler, who successfully defended his title this past weekend. For Knockout it's a must win bout if he's to get a shot at Budler. For he 43 year old Rachman it's a chance to end his long career on a high.
As well as the main event there were 3 other bouts announced for the show.
The chief support bout on the card will see Panomroonglek Kaiyanghadaogym (43-2, 25) defending his PABA Bantamweight title against Filipino challenger Mateo Handig (13-8, 7) in what looks to be a disgustinng mismatch due to the significant size advantage of the champion. Handig was world ranked not too long ago, and does hold a major win over Katsunari Takayama, but is a Minimumweight jumping up to Bantamweight.
Another support bout will see Noknoi Sitthiprasert (52-4, 30) put his 51 fight winning streak on the line against Filipino journeyman Donny Mabao (21-24-1, 4). Noknoi, who is unbeaten since 2005, is actually facing one of his better opponents here, though Mabao does look like a fighter struggling for form and has lost his last 4, including an OPBF Minimumweight title bout to Ryuji Hara and a WBC Asian Boxing Council Flyweight title bout against Nawaphon Por Chokchai.
Another bout on this card will see former WBA interim Flyweight champion Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep (34-3, 20) make his return to the ring for the first time since losing a WBA Flyweight unification bout against Juan Carlos Reveco last year. Yodmongkol has had a trio of hard fights coming into this bout and will now be fighting a very easy looking contest as he goes up against Pongpan Patanakan Gym (0-5).
The final bout we've been made aware of will feature the very exciting Chanachai Cp Freshmart (2-0, 1), who currently holds the WBC Youtn Minimumweight title. Chanchai will be battling fellow unbeaten Chatpetch Por Pakdee (2-0) in a non-title bout that comes just weeks after Chanachai defended his belt with a clear decision against Wilber Andogan.
(Image courtesy of thairec.com)
Thailand welcomes back Muhammad Rachman on March 5th as he battles Knockout CP Freshmart for WBA interim world title!
When we think of fighters fighting beyond the age of their contemporaries we instantly think of fighters like Bernard Hopkins who is still a world class fighter well beyond the age typically associated with a fighter's "prime". Hopkins has shown that age is just a number and that a fighter can still compete with the best as long as they can look after their body.
A man hoping to following in Hopkins's footsteps is Indonesian veteran Muhammad Rachman (65-11-5, 35) who, at 43 years old, will look to become a "world" champion for the third time in his career.
On March 5th Rachman returns to Thailand for what will be his 6th bout in the country. His record there is only 1-3-1 however his last bout there was a memorable one, as he shocked the then unbeaten Kwanthai Sithmorseng and claimed the WBA Minimumweight title.
That win over Kwanthai was way back in 2011 when Rachman was 39 years old. His reign was a short lived one with the Indonesian losing his belt in his first defence, dropping a close decision to Pornsawan Popramook.
Although Rachman is a Minimumweight legend and a 2-time world champion it's clear he is ancient in terms of boxing. He will feel even older when he steps foot back in the ring in March and battles against youngster Knockout CP Freshmart (9-0, 5).
Knockout, the WBA "interim" Minimumweight world champion is only 24 years old and in fact he was was just a few months old when Rachman debuted way back in 1993. Essentially Rachman's boxing career is a similar age to Knockout's life.
This will be Knockout's first defense of the title he won last year, when he controversially defeated Carlos Buitrago and will be fought in Chonburi at the town hall.
With a 19 year age gap between the two men it's clear that Knockout will have youth on his side however Rachman has proven a number of things over his long and successful career. One of those is to never write him off.
(Image courtesy of Thairec.com)
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