Earlier today Thai fight fans had the chance to see WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin (52-0, 18) [วันเฮง ไก่ย่างห้าดาวยิม] extend his unbeaten record in a stay busy fight, as he defeated limited Indonesian fighter Tyson Lahagu (2-10-1, 2), who is listed on boxrec under his birth name of Mektison Marganti, in a straight forward victory.
Wanheng who's rumoured December bout with Japanese national champion Shin Ono (23-9-3, 6) [小野 心] appears to be dead in the water, scarcely got out of first gear in what was more of an exhibition from he Thai than a competitive contest.
It was clear from the first round that Wanheng's key was to keep some ring rust away and get through some rounds, and he rarely looked like he wanted to amp up the pressure more than he had to do. He looked sharp through out, but like a man who knew he had no real need to do anything too intense. To his credit the visitor played his part in trying to put of a fight, at least early on, with some interesting exchanges but as the fight wore on he put fewer punches together and seemed to become happier in just surviving.
It's currently unclear on when Wanheng will next defend his WBC crown, though OPBF Minimumweight champion Tsubasa Koura (14-0, 9) [小浦 翼] has been ordered to face South African Simphiwe Khonco (19-5, 7) in an eliminator, and either of those men against Wanheng in 2019 would be very interesting.
The bout will be one of two title bouts on the show, Dangan 220, alongside the recently announced Japanese Super Bantamweight title bout between Mugicha Nakagawa (24-5-1, 14) [武田勇太] and Ryoichi Tamura (11-3-1, 6) [田村 亮一], who battle for the vacant title on the same show.
It appears that with the New Year's Eve show in Tokyo now looking to be scrapped Ono's shot at a world title has been put on ice, though could be organised for later in 2019 if he gets past Tanaka, which isn't actually a given. It's a shame that Wanheng's first bout on international soil has been delayed, though hopefully he will end up fighting a notable name in early 2019 himself, after his stay busy bout later this month.
With Dangan 220 now being a Japanese title double header we would expect Dangan to live stream the show on Boxingraise, so fingers crossed on that as well!
Back in October we reported that WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin (51-0, 18) [วันเฮง ไก่ย่างห้าดาวยิม] was looking to have a stay busy bout in November, ahead of a strongly rumoured world title defense against Japan's Shin Ono (23-9-3, 6) [小野 心]. Apparently a deal to fight Ono still hasn't been signed and sealed, though is expected to be closed in the very near future.
Today we were informed that Wanheng will indeed have his stay busy bout, on November 16th against Indonesian fighter Tyson Lahagu (2-9-1, 2), who is listed on boxrec under his birth name of Mektison Marganti.
The bout with the Indonesia will be Wanheng's third bout of 2018, a year that has seen him tie Floyd Mayweather at 50-0 and then take the leader over the American, at 51-0. With this bout set to take place when it is it will move him to 52-0 before Maywather can take part in his bout with Japan's Tenshin Nasukawa [那須川天心] which may clash with the the potential Wanheng Vs Ono bout on December 31st.
Our understanding is that Panya Pradabsri (24-1, 13) will be fighting on the same card, against Dexter Alimento (13-4, 9), though we may have mistranslated that, with the hope being for Pradabsri to target a move to Light Flyweight for a bout with Kenshiro (14-0, 8) [拳四朗] in the future.
Earlier today TBS updated their website with an announcement confirming that they would, as widely assumed, be showing the yet to be officially announced WBO Super Flyweight world title fight between Kazuto Ioka (23-1, 13) [井岡一翔] and Donnie Nietes (41-1-5, 23).
TBS confirmed they would be showing a special Ninja Warrior style event from 6PM to 11:55PM with the bout between Ioka and Neites fitting into that broadcast, likely a sign they are either changing their usual year ending television event in some form from their usual year ending broadcast.
Although the bout is yet to be announced sources are hinting it will be towards the end of the broadcast.
It's worth noting that this special from TBS will be up against the recently announced RIZIN 14 event, headlined by Japanese sensation Tenshin Nasukawa [那須川天心] facing boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr (50-0, 27). Given the high profile of that bout TBS may try to avoid putting Ioka head to head with the RIZIN main event.
At the moment no other bouts have been confirmed for this TBS card but there are rumours that it could be one of the most stacked cards of the year with speculation that Vic Saludar (18-3, 10) will defend the WBO Minimumweight title against Masataka Taniguchi (10-2, 7) [谷口 将隆], Hiroto Kyoguchi (11-0, 8) [京口 紘人] will fight for a Light Flyweight title, against either Angel Acosta (19-1, 19) or Hekkie Budler (32-3, 10), and that Wanheng Menayothin (51-0, 18) [วันเฮง ไก่ย่างห้าดาวยิม] may clash with Shin Ono (23-9-3, 6) [小野 心].
A full announcement is expected in the coming days of the show, and what TBS will be showing live and what will be on delay.
Back in September Kazuto Ioka (23-1, 13) [井岡一翔] end his retirement, and returned with a sensational performance to defeat Puerto Rican McWilliams Arroyo and claim the WBC Silver Super Flyweight title. Following that win the Japanese fighter, who had claimed world titles at Minimumweight, Light Flyweight and Flyweight stated that he would like to fight fellow 3 weight champion Donnie Nietes (41-1-5, 23). Nietes had fought to a draw on the same card in a bout for the vacant WBO Super Flyweight title, with his bout against Aston Palicte being controversially ruled a draw.
At the time a bout between the two looked like something that would be special, though many thought it to be more of a dream fight than something that would actually end up taking place, especially given that Ioka stated he was wanting the bout this year. It looked at the time like one of the many rumours and bits of speculation that we'd get excited about before it either failed to materialise or was delayed until 2019.
Just moments ago however reliable Japanese sources reported that a deal for the bout was close to being done, and that it would indeed take place in 2018, being tucked onto December 31st on a card in Macau.
It seems like there are still some loose ends to be tied up before the bout is confirmed, though it would explain why all the other December 31st rumours and speculation haven't really gathered much pace, with TBS and the other promoters, such as Watanabe and Hatanaka, likely waiting to see how this plays out. In fact if this is completed in the next few days and officially announced, as expected, there may well be the money on the table to create a super card to end the year, with Ioka Vs Nietes headlining a show that could, conceivably, also feature the proposed Watanabe triple header, which included a WBC Minimumweight title bout between Wanheng Menayothin (51-0, 18) [วันเฮง ไก่ย่างห้าดาวยิม] and Shin Ono (23-9-3, 6) [小野 心].
Alternatively there may be some sort of split-site deal with TBS showing a card from Tokyo as well as the Macau one.
After a bit of silence on the Ioka Vs Nietes front things have suddenly got very real, very quickly, and we've been told to expect an announcement on the fight in the coming days.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!