According to sources in Japan former WBA Super Flyweight champion Tepparith Kokietgym (35-3, 22) [เทพฤทธิ์ ก่อเกียรติยิม] will be returning to the ring on December 16th at the Okayama Budokan.
The Thai, who built a reputation for beating Japanese boxers, taking the WBA title from Daiki Kameda and then defending it against Tomonbu Shimizu and Nabuo Nashiro before being upset by Kohei Kono , will not be fighting as a boxer.
Instead of competing in a boxing contest the Thai will instead be part of the "Okayama Kickboxing 59kg Prize Tournament", along with 7 other fighters.
As a boxer Tepparith earned a reputation as a Japanese killer due to his good run against Japanese opponents, in Japan. Sadly for him his boxing career failed to really rebound following his loss to Kono, despite stringing together 14 wins, though all were against lower level opponents. As a boxer he was last seen in the ring back in 2016.
Our understanding is that the show will not only feature the kickboxing tournament but also a WPMF title fight.
There's been a lot of action over the past few days and sadly some of it has gone under the radar. One such bout saw former WBA Super Flyweight champion Tepparith Kokietgym (34-3, 21) [เทพฤทธิ์ ก่อเกียรติยิม] continue his climb back to the top as he saw off Indonesian veteran Tommy Seran (26-8, 15), who appeared to indicate that he had had enough after being dropped in round 5.
For Tepparith the performance was less than spectacular but he did show glimpses of the skills that lead him to scoring notable wins over the likes of Drian Francisco, Daiki Kameda, Tomonobu Shimizu and Nobuo Nashiro. Whilst not the best performance it was, notably, his 13th straight victory and it seems clear that he's finding a groove after some issues in 2014/2015.
From what we understand the Thai, who is amazingly just 27, is set to be back in the ring in May.
Yesterday Thai fans in Wat Kokkuod, Surin, saw former world champion Tepparith Kokietgym (33-3, 20) [เทพฤทธิ์ ก่อเกียรติยิม] score his 7th win in 12 months, as he defeated the limited Thai based Frenchman Matthis Bernot (0-8).
The Thai, who made a name for himself in 2011 and 2012 with a string of notable wins over the likes of Drian Francisco, Daiki Kameda, Tomonbu Shimizu and Nobuo Nashiro, was never expected to be tested here and it showed.
The Thai hardly got out of the second gear as he toyed with Bernot at times. The Frenchman, to his credit, gave it a go but it was clear that he was trying without much success and in the end a sweeping left hook left him flat on his back forcing the referee to wave off the contest immediately.
Whilst Tepparith was in charge of the bout, and winning with ease, he did, unfortunately look horribly out of shape and it's clear that he's still carrying excess weight. Although talented, he is going to have to drop a lot of weight before stepping anywhere near contender level.
with this win Tepparith extended his current winning run to 12 straight winsm though he really is fighting at a very low level and looks to be a long way from his best.
Former WBA Super Flyweight champion Tepparith Kokietgym (29-3, 19) will be in action on Friday in his homeland of Thailand as he looks to claim the WBA Asia Bantamweight title. The tricky and talented Thai will be facing Indonesian veteran Ricky Manufoe (23-22-2, 10) in what should be a straight forward win for the former world title holder.
Tepparith, who has gone 8-0 (5) since losing the world title to Kohei Kono in December 2012, will be fighting for the 4th time this year and will be hoping that a win here will help him get a solid WBA world ranking as he looks to re-establish himself on the world stage. Although not matched hard here we do know that he is highly capable and a very good fighter.
As for Manufoe this bout will be his first of the year and he enters in very poor form, having been stopped in his last 2 bouts and in fact he's gone 1-4 in his last 5. Among those 4 losses was a 2nd round TKO loss, in December 2013, to Tepparith showing another reason why the Indonesian fighter should be considered such a huge under-dog.
For fans interested in watching this bout it will be aired on Thai TV channel 3SD and should be featured with a number of other bouts. Sadly however we won't have details regarding those bouts as of yet. However we do know that this show will not feature the mouth watering bout between Kongfah CP Freshmart and Daigo Higa, who will be fighting on Thai Channel 7. Unfortunate the shows seem set to clash at 14:00 local time.
Earlier today we were informed of a bout involving former WBA Super Flyweight world champion Tepparith Kokietgym (27-3, 16), which will be taking place tomorrow in his homeland of Thailand.
The details we got sent weren't totally clear though it seems the bout will be aired on channel 17 and sees Tepparith taking on a taller Chinese opponent, who we believe is Wang Xinghua (10-10-1).
For the former champion this will be his second bout in the space of around 9 weeks after spending more than a year out of the ring. Sadly for the 26 year old "Astro Boy" it now appears that he'll have to be busy just to get back into fighting shape. Thankfully however he does look much better conditioned now than he did when he fought Joaquim Mahe back in February, only just coming out on top in that bout.
We're unsure what weight this bout will be taking place at though it does seem clear that Tepparith is long, long removed from his prime as a Super Flyweight. And his WBA title reign, which saw him defeating the likes of Daiki Kameda, Tomonobu Shimizu and Nobuo Nashiro back in 2011-2012, is little more than a fond memory of the fighter he once was what he once was.
(Image courtesy of thairec, video, of Tepparith's fight with Mahe, courtesy of tko.in.th)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!