It's fair to suggest that Tenshin Nasukawa [那須川天心] is one of the most recognisable faces in kick boxing, and is the rising kick boxing megastar, with comparisons to boxing sensation Naoya Inoue [井上 尚弥].
At the moment AbemaTV are showing a mini-series on Nasukawa and his development as a fighter. That show had a recent episode that shows the kick boxer training in Thailand.
It was revealed during the show that Nasukawa had recently been training with professional boxer Nawaphon Por Chokchai (42-1, 33) [นวพล นครหลวงโปรโมชั่น], who is currently ranked #9 by the WBC at Bantamweight. Not only that, but that he had also held his own against the experienced Thai in a sparring session at the Nakornluang gym.
This comes in the wake of Nasukawa telling the Japanese press that there is a chance he turns his hand to professional boxing in the future. Given how well her performed against Nawaphon there is perhaps some signs that he may be making the move sooner rather than later, even if it was just a training exercise at the time.
(Image courtesy of AbemaTimes)
Earlier today in Thailand fight fans saw former IBF Flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng (18-3, 6) [อำนาจ รื่นเริง] come up short in a very fan friendly bout against former WBC Flyweight title contender Nawaphon Por Chokchai (41-1, 33) [นวพล นครหลวงโปรโมชั่น]. The bout was highly anticipated in Thailand, where it was the headline bout of a card on television channel Workpoint, but it easily out did any expectations.
From the off the two men set a great pace with the former world champion throwing a lot of leather, boxing well behind his jab and regularly backing up the younger man. Nawahpon, at times, liked like he had no answer for the speed or variation of Amnat who landed blows up top and to the body with alarming ease. It looked like a totally different Amnat to the one we had become accustomed to, and instead of the dirty fouling and wresling tactics we had previously we instead saw a highly skilled and busy boxer-mover with lovely fluid combinations.
To his credit Nawaphon never looked badly hurt, but he did seem beweildered at the accuracy and speed of his much older foe.
In round 2 Nawaphon picked up his own pace but continued to be out worked and out boxed by Amnat, who showed little respect to the younger man, standing at mid distance and letting his shots roll. Nawaphon would have more moments, and his shots seemed heavier, but was being out landed by Amnat, who went to the body with some lovely shots and regularly found holes in Nawaphon's defense.
The pace continued to be thrilling in round 3, but for the first time Nawaphon's success was starting to match that of Amnat, with his power being the diffeence maker and his body shots clearly getting to the former world champion. Amnat began to be a bit more stationary than he had been earlier in the fight and with his movement gone he was forced to put up a high guard to protect from Nawaphon's shots, with many getting through. Despite the success of Nawaphon through the round Amnat continued to let his hands go freely with a series of big right hands landing clean late in the round, they were however forgotten as Nawaphon returned them with interest.
The bout reached it's peak in round 4 as Amnat began to sit on his punches, losing the volume but looking to make an impact with every shot. It was a change in tactic that helped Nawaphon as the two began to have a brawl, taking it in turns to land big shots. The idea of defense seemed to go out of the window as they both looked to prove they were the tough, stronger and more powerful man. By the end of the round the power of Nawaphon had began to take it's toll and Amnat hurt several times towards the end of the round.
With the cobwebs firmly in his head and his legs losing the steam they once had the end seemed nigh for Amant. The veteran however made it cear he wanted to go out on his shield and looked to take the fight to Nawaphion again in round 5. It was a decision that proved to be a bad one, as the two looked bomb each other out. Part way through the round Amnat's gas tank hit empty and Nawaphon sensed it, picking up the pace and finishing the show with a wild assault that dropped Amnat.
with the veteran down the bout was stopped with Amnat looking in a pretty bad way at one point. The downfall for the veteran seemed to have been coming a whilen but a clean right hand sped up the process and helped give Nawaphon his biggest career win.
The future for Amnat is likely to be a retirement, though we have heard that from him before, whilst Nawaphon will be looking to build on this win and move towards some other potentially bigger fights down the line. This win sees Nawaphon retain the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Super Flyweight title, a title that would have been vacant had Amnat won, following his failure to make weight yesterday.
Notably it does feel like Workpoint are putting quality control on the shows they host and this is the second great all-Thai bout they've given us this year, hopefully more will follow.
Tomorrow fight fans in Thailand will see former IBF Flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng (18-2, 6) [อำนาจ รื่นเริง] battle against former WBC Flyweight title contender Nawaphon Por Chokchai (40-1, 32) [นวพล นครหลวงโปรโมชั่น]. The bout is one of the most anticipated All-Thai bouts in years and looks like it will be a really good match up.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in and unfortunately Amnat actually failed to make the weight for bout, coming in at 117lbs for a bout at a contracted 115lbs. Despite beign over-weight the bout will go on, however Amant is not eligible to win the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Super Flyweight Title, which Nawaphon will be defending.
As for the champion he was 115lbs, and will be able to record a succesful defense of the title here, if he wins, however if he loses the title will be come vacant.
For those wanting to watch the bout it will be televised on Workpoint, channel 23, in Thailand.
(Image courtesy of Thairec.com)
Top Thai fighters not facing each other has been an issue over the past few years, with promoters looking to move fighters into big international fights without letting their men prove to be the best in the Land of Smiles. As a result we've seen years of mismatches as the Thai scene has began to stagnate in some ways, with very few fighters really being able to make a name for themselves outside of their homeland and instead we've been seeing more and more over-padded records. Thankfully that does seem to be changing, and only a few days ago we had a brilliant bout between Kompayak Porpramook and Pongsaklek Sithdabnij.
It seems like the recent Kompayak Vs Pongsaklek bout isn't a one off, and one on April 21st we'll see former IBF Flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng (18-2, 6) battle against former WBC Flyweight title contender Nawaphon Por Chokchai (40-1, 32) in what looks like another brilliant all Thai match up between veteran and up and comer.
At his best Amnat was a tricky assignment for anyone. From January 2014, when he beat Rocky Fuentes, to May 2016, when he lost to John Riel Casimero, he was one of the top Flyweights on the planet. His title run, which saw him beating Fuentes, Kazuto Ioka, McWilliams Arroyo, Shiming Zou, Casimero and Myung Ho Lee, was really impressive and saw him become an established fighter. Sadly since then he has sort of bounced around picking up losses in kick boxing, Olympic boxing and, professional boxing.
As for Nawaphon he's best known for being stopped in 3 rounds in March 2017 against Juan Hernandez in a bout for the WBC Flyweight title. Since then he has stoppaed 4 poor opponents, going back to the point made earlier about Thai's fighting in mismatches. He's also the younger brother of Suriyan Sor Rungvisai and a stabemate of Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.
This bout will be for the World Boxing Council Asian Boxing Council Continental Super Flyweight title and will be televised on Workpoint, Channel 23, in Thailand. A loss for Nawaphon would be disastrous whilst a win for Amnat would keep him relevant in professional boxing.
Tomorrow fight fans will see a new WBC Flyweight champion being crowned as Nawaphon Por Chokchai (36-0, 28) [นวพล นครหลวงโปรโมชั่น] battles with Mexican Juan Hernandez (33-2, 24) for the currently vacant title.
Today, ahead of their clash tomorrow, the two men took part in their weigh in and both made weight for the contest, with both men tipping the scales at 112lbs dead on, the divisional limit.
The fighters, who will fight tomorrow, will each be vying to become just the third active Flyweight champion and we already know that their title will be the target for both Daigo Higa and Muhammad Waseem, meaning that not only is the bout a key one for the Asian scene but the winner will also be a target for two unbeaten and fast rising Asian fighters as well.
For fans wanting to watch the bout it does sound like it will be aired on Thai Channel 3, though it's unclear if it's HD or SD, from 18:00 local time, but their website for Channel 3 doesn't actually confirm that sadly so it may be a case of tuning in and having your fingers cossed.
Nawaphon and Hernandez battle for vacant WBC crown!
(Image coutesy of Thairec.com)
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