In Osaka this afternoon fight fans saw experienced Thai Amphol Suriyo (23-4, 29), aka Pharanpetch Tor Buamas, battle against late replacement Takayuki Sakai (8-1-2, 6) [酒井孝之], with Amphol looking to build on his upset win over Kazuki Saito last time he was in Japan. Sakai had been brought into the bout as a relatively late replacement for the touted Ginjiro Tsutsumimoto (2-0, 2) [堤本銀次郎], though reasons were never made totally clear as to why Tsutsumimoto was removed from the bout.
On paper this was a huge step up for Sakai, but he seemed confident of not only winner, but of stopping the Thai as he pressed forward from the opening moments, backing Amphol on to the ropes and going to work on the Thai up close. The aggression and style of Sakai lead to moments of success from Amphol, who really dug into the body of Sakai in the opening round.
In round 2 the Thai was cut as Sakai came forward, though again picked his moments for counters well and kept Saki honest, despite being pinned on the back foot. It seemed clear that Amphol was looking to land big shots when Sakai rushed in but Sakai, to his credit, showed real maturity in defending well, even when he was attacking. It was similar again in round 3, with Sakai getting more and more success, by the round as Amphol's reactions slowed slightly, and more shots of Sakai got through.
In round 4 it seemed like the Thai was tiring, his shots were losing their snap, and he was throwing far fewer of them. His combinations to to the body, which were prevalent in the first couple of rounds, were almost entirely gone whilst Sakai was beginning to look more and more relaxed.
The relaxed nature of Sakai, and the fact he was having things a bit too easy, seemed to cause him problem sin 5 as Amphol suddenly let more shots of his own go and seemed to have Sakai hurt at one point. It was however a big effort from Amphol, who seemed to put everything into the attack, and he was punished soon afterwards as Sakai let his hands go, pinning an exhausted Amphol on the ropes and unloading with head shots. Those shots forced the referee to save the Thai.
The win is, by far, the biggest of Sakai's career, and he'll likely be looking for a regional title fight in 2019. For Amphol it's hard to know where he goes from here.
Back in October we reported that the hugely promising Ginjiro Tsutsumimoto (2-0, 2) [堤本銀次郎] would be returning to the ring on December 22nd to take a huge step up in class and battle Amphol Suriyo (23-3, 29), aka Pharanpetch Tor Buamas. The bout really intrigued us, as we'd been impressed by Tsutsumimoto as an amateur, and felt he had the style to go a long way, and to go there quickly.
Sadly we've now been informed that Tsutsumimoto is out of the December 22nd bout, with his place on the show now being taken by 28 year old countryman Takayuki Sakai (7-1-2, 5) [酒井孝之].
It's unclear as to why Tsutsumimoto is off the show, though it appears to have been a very recent change in plans. In fact Kyoei, the promoter of Sakai, only reported the bout in the last day or so.
The contest between Sakai and "Pharanpetch" will be shown on G+ as part of a show that also features Juiki Tatsuyoshi (9-0, 6) [辰吉寿以輝] facing off with Yuki Hirashima (9-2-1, 3) [平島祐樹] and a bout between former world title challenger Hiroshige Osawa (33-5-4, 19) [大沢 宏晋] and WBA #7 ranked Super Bantamweight Belmar Preciado (18-1-1, 11), in what is a make or break for both men.
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