We've known since very early March that former IBF Super Bantamweight world champion Yukinori Oguni (20-2-1, 8) [小國以載] would be in action on May 8th, in a 10 round bout. Until today however we weren't sure of who he would be facing.
Today his opponent was named as IBF top 10 ranked Bantamweight Sukpraserd Ponpitak (22-9, 14), aka Sukkasem Kietyongyuth, from Thailand.
The Japanese former world champion will be fighting for the second time since losing the IBF title to Ryosuke Iwasa, way back in September 2017. The bout is a huge step up from his last outing, against limited Indonesian Arega Yunian, but should be a winnable bout if Oguni is 50% of the fighter he once was.
The 31 year old Thai is 1-7 outside of Thailand, and 22-2 at home, with losses in Japan to Yusaku Kuga and Kazuki Tanaka. Despite not being a world beater he does have a good IBF ranking and Oguni will certainly be wanting to take a win and a ranking of his own.
This past Saturday in Thailand fans had the chance to see the latest show in the IBF Silk Road tournament. It was a show that was streamed by the IBF, free over Youtube, but the stream was nigh on unwatchable. Sadly. However it was a good show, with several very good bouts.
The tournament bouts began at Super Bantamweight, where Pipat Chaiporn (45-12-2, 28), aka Mike Tawatchai, and Filipino Eugene Lagos (15-5-3, 10) fought to a 10 round majority draw. It was a hotly contested bout, and had it not been in Thailand there's a good chance Lagos would have got the nod. Sadly with the bout taking place in Thailand it did seem like the local got the benefit of the doubt and got the draw as a result.
The second bout saw former OPBF Featherweight champion Ryo Takenaka (18-3-1, 11) [竹中 良] take a TKO win over Filipino Lorence Rosas (9-2-2, 3), in a Super Featherweight bout. Rosas unfortunately pulled out of the bout after round 5, giving Takenaka the win. This was the first time Rosas hadn't been stopped, though questions need to be asked as to why he was fighting at 130lbs here, especially in such a notable tournament.
The third bout saw local veteran a contest between Komsan Polsan (36-10-1, 22), aka Patomsuk Pathompothong, suffer a decision loss to unbeaten Uzbek Dostonbek Turdiev (7-0, 5) over 10 rounds. Turdiev was too active and too hungry for the Thai, who really has been incredibly disappointing the last few years, and we do wonder what his career has left to offer.
Thankfully the locals did get a reason to celebrate as Sukpraserd Ponpitak (22-9, 14), aka Sukkasem Kietyongyuth, took a close decision win over the previously unbeaten Filipino Joseph Ambo (8-1-1, 6) to progress to the next round of the tournament.
We're hoping that when the next round of the tournament is held the IBF will provide a much more stable stream than they gave us here, as it really was terrible.
Tomorrow we'll see the IBF Silk Road Tournament hit Thailand, with the team responsible for the IBF Silk Road tournaments working alongside Kiatkreerin to host the show.
After weeks of waiting we now, finally have the running order for the show, which appears to feature 6 bouts in total, including a female bout and a Muay Thai bout.
Among the fights on this show are the previously reported contest between former OPBF Featherweight champion Ryo Takenaka (17-3-1, 10) [竹中 良] and Lorence Rosas (9-2-2, 3), a bout between Pipat Chaiporn (45-12-1, 28), aka Mike Tawatchai, and Filipino Eugene Lagos (15-5-2, 10), a contest between Komsan Polsan (36-9-1, 22), aka Patomsuk Pathompothong, and the unbeaten Dostonbek Turdiev (6-0, 5) of Uzbekistan and Sukpraserd Ponpitak (21-9, 14), aka Sukkasem Kietyongyuth Joseph ambo (8-0-1, 6), of the Philippines.
Fans wanting to watch this card will want to tune into Thairath, channel 32, tomorrow night.
Earlier today fight fans in Osaka saw local hopeful Kazuki Tanaka (7-0, 5) [田中 一樹] score the toughest win of his career so far, as he narrowly over-came world ranked Thai Sukkasem Kietyongyuth (16-7, 11) [สุขเกษม เรือไวกิ้ง] in a gripping 8 round contest.
Tanaka started the bout well, using a sharp jab to control the distance and he looked sharp as a tac in the early moments. Before long however Sukkasem found his way inside and began to land eye catching body shots, whilst building in confidence. That confidence came at a price for the visitor, who was dropped by the local hopeful. Unfortunately for Tanaka the knockdown wasn't a hugely hurtful one and the Thai was quickly back into the fight.
As the bout went on Tanaka's accuracy and success decreased and Sukkasem really had some big moments, but could never drop Tanaka, which he always looked like needing. Sadly for the Thai his failure to score a knodkcown essentially cost him on the cards, with the judges scoring it 78-74 and 76-75 in favour of Tanaka, and 76-76, to give the Japanese prospect a majority decision.
On paper this was a huge win, and one that could potentially get Tanaka an IBF world ranking. It was however a struggle against a man who hasn't scored a notable win and wasn't expected to give Tanaka such a close run.
As for Sukkasem the bout will likely cost him his world ranking, but his performance will open up more opportunities in Japan, there are a host of Bantamweights and Super Bantamweights who will be looking to face him.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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