Earlier today we were informed that WBA "Interim" Minimumweight champion Knockout CP Freshmart (10-0, 5) would be returning to the ring on July 2nd to defend his belt against WBA #2 ranked challenger Alexis Diaz (16-0, 10) of Venezuela in an attractive looking unbeaten showdown in Nakhon Ratchasima.
From what we understand there is a chance that Knockout may be upgraded the to "regular" champion prior to this bout with Hekkie Budler looking likely to be upgraded to the "Super champion", though at the moment it seems that that is yet to be confirmed.
On paper that match up is a really good one between two talented fighters with unbeaten records and a good rung of form, with some notable names on both guys resumes.
Knockout won the title last year when he narrowly over-came Carlos Buitrago in a razor thin unanimous decision that many felt could have gone the other way. That win has since been followed with his first defense, a wide decision win over Indonesian veteran Muhammad Rachman, who never managed to really get in to the fight, despite a brave effort. Those two wins are, by far, the most impressive on Knockout's record, though they have seen his stoppage rate drop to 50% and jokes about a name change to "Unanimous Decision CP Freshmart" have circulated on twitter.
As for Diaz the unbeaten Venezuelan recently blew away Luis De La Rosa and has also scored stoppage wins over Jorle Estrada and Ronald Ramos. Those wins have helped push Diaz up the rankings and move him towards such a notable opportunity.
From what we understand this bout will be aired on Channel 7 along with a number of undercard bouts featuring notable names, such as Panomroonglek Kaiyanghadaogym (45-2, 27), Ratchasak KKP (28-3-1, 13) and novice pro Petchtae Petchyindee (1-0).
Thanks to Pal for this news.
When an opponent changes, twice, for a fight a fighter can sometime struggle with an opponent they should have been able to beat with out too many problems. That was shown earlier today when Hong Kong's popular Rex Tso (13-0, 8) fought Thailand's game Ratchasak Kokietgym (22-3-1, 10) and was given arguably his second toughest bout so far.
Tso started by looking very good and for two rounds it did look like Tso was going to have his own way with the Thai who was brought into the fight with around a weeks notice. Unfortunately for Tso the Thai fighter wasn't just here to make up the numbers and in round 3 Ratchasak managed to twice drop Tso who looked like he was unable to take the power of the Thai.
Ratchasak continued to have success in round 4, the most competitive round of the fight, though soon afterwards Tso rediscovered his rhythm and began to use his fast feet, fast hands and sharper punches which helped him put the 10-7 round behind him and re-establish control of the bout.
Although often in control of the action Tso was dragged into some really exciting exchanges, especially in round 10 as both let there hands go to start the final round, By then though it seemed Ratchasak was too tired to really unload on Tso like he did in round 3.
Having reached the final bell there was only one winner and with scores of 97-91, 97-91, 96-92 Tso maintained his unbeaten record though was given a scare.
For those wondering about Tso's toughest bout that was his controversial victory over Ratchasak's compatriot Rusalee Samor, a bout we felt Tso was very lucky to win.
Tso's victory on the card followed opening round blow out victories for IK Yang (15-0-0-1, 10) and Kuok Kun Ng (4-0, 2) earlier on the same card.
Less than 2 weeks ago we reported that Hong's Kong's Rex Tso (12-0, 8) had been forced into a change of opponent after Japanese fighter Atsushi Kakutani (14-4-1, 7), had been forced out of the bout with a training injury. At that point in time Tso's attention changed from Kakutani to Thailand's Tiger Tor Buamas (17-1, 12) who was brought in to replace the former WBC Light Flyweight title challenger.
We're sad to report that Tiger has himself been replaced for the bout following a failure in a recent medical examination and has found his role in the bout being taken by his compatriot Ratchasak Kokietgym (22-2-1, 10).
From the report's we've come across it's being speculated that Tiger has failed due to having Hepatitis B, though it's not yet been confirmed it would be an awful way to end a once promising career.
As the for the newly made bout between Ratchasak and Tso this looks like a very good bout, in fact it looks better than clashes with either Kakutani, a naturally smaller man, or Tiger, who had been stopped just a few months ago by Alie Laurel. Ratchasak is a natural Bantamweight and, although he has been stopped twice in his career, has mixed with some very good fighters like Richard Pumicpic.
The changes won't have been great for Tso though after a long training camp and with a possible world title fight against Kohei Kono down the line it's fair to say he'll be fired up to impress here and retain his WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title.
(Image courtesy of SCMP Pictures)
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