Just moments ago at the latest WP Boxing event in Bang Phun we saw former 2-time WBO Bantamweight champion Pungluang Sor Singyu (53-6, 35), aka Panya Uthok, battle against former OPBF Super Featherweight champion Carlo Magali (23-12-3, 12).
On paper this was a really strange one in a number of ways. Firstly Pungluang had fought much of his career at a much lower weight than Magali, who had fought as high as Light Welterweight. Secondly was the fact both men were entering this successive losses, in fact Pungluang had lost 3 in a row, and was winless in over 3 years. Not only had Pungluang lost his last 3, but he hadn't fought in Thailand since losing the WBO Bantamweight title to Marlon Tapales in the summer of 2016. On the other hand the 32 year old Magali had lost his last 2 including a stoppage loss to Masao Nakamura in December.
Despite feeling like this was a strange match up it seems like the match makers knew what they were doing and we had a genuinely entertaining, TV friendly battle over 6 rounds of relative intensity. The Thai didn't look significantly smaller than Magali, though seemed much sharper and quicker and was often the man landing the eye catching flurries whilst taking much of the return fire on the arms and shoulders, often smiling whilst doing so. To his credit Magali never gave up trying, but was clearly being out worked, out landed and out boxed by the Thai, who showed surprising sharpness and ring craft given his recent form.
Over 6 rounds there was no real debating the winner, with Magali putting up a good effort, but clearly coming off second best, with Pungluang taking a clear decision and getting his first win since taking a technical decision over Jetro Pabustan in early 2016.
According to sources in Thailand we have seen the end of Pungluang Sor Singyu (52-4, 35) [ผึ้งหลวง ส.สิงห์อยู่] in a boxing ring.
The sources has informed us that Pungluang has retired from the sport following his loss to Marlon Tapales earlier this year, with that loss apparently resulting in the Thai suffering a badly damaged fractured jaw and needing hospital treatment.
It seems, from what we've been told, that Pugnluang will be welcomed back by OnesongChai if he changes his mind but, for now at least, the 2-time WBO Bantamweight champion is ending his career and looking to move on to new things in life.
The exciting Thai may have been stopped in his two biggest bouts, losses to Tomoki Kameda and Marlon Tapales, but he enjoyed a solid career over-all with wins against the likes AJ Banal and Ryo Akaho beign his stand out victories.
In boxing we have a lot of different fighters. Some of those are avoided like the plague due to being high risk and low reward, after all whats the points of being beaten for a small pay day right? Others are low risk and high reward, where you're likely to be able to make your name on the coat tails of another fighter, or be paid handsomely to defeat someone who is still holding on to the edge of their career. Another is a wanted man, and that's the role that current WBO Bantamweight champion Marlon Tapales (29-2, 12) has found himself in with fighters and promoters scrambling around to offer a deal to the Filipino.
Tapales won the world title earlier this year, pulling himself off the canvas twice to stop Pungluang Sor Singyu in one of the gutsiest performances of 2016. Since that win it seems there has been a bullseye on his back with many fighters now said to be targeting him and offers flying in to try and secure a bout against the "Maranding Nightmare".
Last week we reported that Takuma Inoue (7-0, 2) [井上 拓真] was interested in facing Tapales, something that has since been confirmed, though he wouldn't be able to have a world title fight until later in the year, likely December. Yesterday we saw another Japanese fighter, Shohei Omori (17-1, 12) [大森 将平], talk about a bout with Tapales. Omori is looking to avenge his sole defeat, which came to the Filipino last year, though could be left in the cold here if Tapales feels he has "been there and done that".
Omori isn't the only man looking for revenge and it's been said that Pungluang Sor Singyu (52-4, 35) [ผึ้งหลวง ส.สิงห์อยู่] is also interested in a rematch with Tapales, though he may be made to travel if big money isn't offered for the Filipino's services given the way the promoter messed Tapales about ahead of heir first fight, which saw Tapalese battle back to stop Pungluang in the later stages.
Another linked to Tapales, and apparently the most concrete offer made so far, is Englishman Paul Butler (21-1, 12). Butler is a former IBF champion at the weight who had been looking to become a major player at 115lbs, but has struggled at Super Flyweight before returning back to Bantamweight. Physically he's a small fighter at the weight, like Tapales in many ways, and is promoter by Frank Warren. The offer is said to be for a date in October with a lot more laid down than either of the Japanese offers.
A peculiar offer could see Tapales travel to Vietnam, creating history in the process as the first world champion to defend a title in the country. The offer for a bout in Vietnam seems to revolve around an Australian fighter, believed to be TJ Doheny (15-0, 11), the PABA Super Bantamweight champion.
An alternative is that Tapales could be on the November 5th card headlined by compatriot Manny Pacquiao, who challenges Jessie Vargas for the WBO Welterweight title. At the moment this would likely be the highest profile option, though may mean that Tapales' team may need to find an opponent and do more of the "leg work" than if others were in control of the promotion, it would however see him enter the ring with a large Filipino friendly crowd.
At the moment Tapales' team are weighing all the offers up, though may need to strike a deal swiftly as some offers won't be around for long and fighters may take a different route if they end up being forced to wait too long. Of course they may also see the advantage of taking two fighters this year, one in October and maybe one in December if their man can come out on top in the first bout.'
Tomorrow fight fans in Thailand will have the chance to see WBO Bantamweight champion Pungluang Sor Singyu (52-3, 35) [ผึ้งหลวง ส.สิงห์อยู่] defend his title against mandatory challenger Marlon Tapales (28-2, 11). Today those two men went through the last of their official duties before their fight tomorrow.
That was of course there weigh in, which saw both men make weight, albeit naked and after needing to lose weight.
The men were allowed to take part in a check weigh in with resulted in both men being above the maximum allowed. This left them with some time to lose the weight, which they both did. For Pungluang the excess came off relatively easily whilst Tapales was forced to run out in the sun to sweat out that little bit more water weight. For both men however the time was well spent given that they both managed to make the limit when they finally went through the official weigh in process.
At the weigh in both men came in at 117.8lbs. Both looked in good shape but it's clear that come tomorrow both will have rehydrated several pounds.
Will Pungluang over come mandatory challenger Tapales?
Pungluang slight favourite over Tapales
Tomorrow the hardcore fight fans will turn their attention to Thailand for a WBO Bantamweight world title bout, as defending champion Pungluang Sor Singyu (52-3, 35) [ผึ้งหลวง ส.สิงห์อยู่] takes on Filipino challenger Marlon Tapales (28-2, 11) in a mandatory title defense. The bout is a brilliant one on paper and one that seems even better if you've seen a bit of the two men, with styles almost guaranteed to gel when the men step in to the ring.
Thankfully it's not only us that think the bout will be great with one British bookmaker actually pricing the bout up, and having it as a very good looking and competitive bout themselves.
The bout opened on the better market with Pungluang a 4/6 favourite, though since then his odds have drifted and today he is priced at 8/11, suggesting that whilst he is the favourite the bout should be an ultra-competitive one. Like wise the odds of Tapales winning, at 11/10 today, suggest that he's an under-dog with a real chance and will not be written off. Interesting he was 5/4 yesterday suggesting money has gone on him over-night.
Of course winning in Thailand is never easy but it seems the belief is that Tapales is the better fighter, and the question isn't who will deserve the bout, but whether or not Tapales can convince the officials to give him the win in front of a Thai crowd. Something that has never been easy.
Will Pungluang over come mandatory challenger Tapales?
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