Earlier today in Bangkok local fans were given a number of notable treats. Not only were they able to see Wanheng Menayothin (52-0, 18) [วันเฮง ไก่ย่างห้าดาวยิม] and Knockout CP Freshmart (19-0, 7) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] take part in an exhibition bout but also a couple of new champions being crowned, as two locals won OPBF silver titles.
One of those new champions is Kanyarat Yoohanngoh (5-2, 3) who defeated Japanese fighter Umi Ishikawa (7-3, 5) [石川海] to become the new OPBF silver Female Minimumweight champion.
Kanyarat, who was seen last year in Japan being stopped by Kasumi Saeki, fought on the back foot early on, and landed the better shots, including some very good counters. Sadly though her good work was often overshadowed by her unnecessary use a few dirty tactics up close, including pushing the laces of her gloves in Ishikawa's face and a few rabbit punches. As the fight went on Ishikawa began to fade, tiring her self out and mentally looking like she had had enough of Kanyarat's tactics. When that happened the local turned the tables, began coming forward, unloading a huge flurry that sent Ishikawa down. She would beat the count but the referee wisely choose not to allow the bout to continue, at an official time of 1:57 of round 3
The other new champion is Satanmuanglek CP Freshmart (11-0, 5) [สะท้านเมืองเล็ก ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท], aka Tanawat Nakoon, who stopped Filipino journeyman Crison Omayao (24-19-4, 8) to become the new OPBF Silver Light Flyweight champion.
Omayao had failed to make weight at the weigh in yesterday, so was unable to win the belt, though never really looked competitive with the Thai. From the opening round Satanmuanglek looked in control, pressed the action and despite being the lighter man at the weigh in looked the much stronger man. It was the educated pressure from Satanmuanglek that was key and he was breaking down the Filipino round by round, with brutal body shots,being the main feature. Those body would send Omayao to the canvas 3 times to force a 4th round TKO win.
Tomorrow fight fans will be able to see a public exhibition between WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin (52-0, 18) [วันเฮง ไก่ย่างห้าดาวยิม] and WBA counter part Knockout CP Freshmart (19-0, 7) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] as both men share the ring ahead of their next world title defenses.
Today the two men went face to face at the press conference, to try and increase the hype in their exhibition bout, and both looked in great shape.
Wanheng is pencilled in to defend his WBC title, for the 11th time, at the end of March against former WBO champion Tatsuya Fukuhara (21-6-6, 7) [福原 辰弥], in what is a decent if unspectacular bout for the champion. At the moment it's unclear who Knockout will face, but he is expected to be back in action in April.
Although the exhibition is clearly meant to be a friendly event it's the first time the two have publicly shared the ring, and it wouldn't be a huge surprise to see their backers weighing up a potential unification bout later in the year. Although the bout has been talked about internationally, the belief has long been that they wouldn't fight until all 4 belts were up for grabs. Failure to get either man a unification bout so far may end up with the two facing off anyway, to see who is the best.
It's clear a warm up event for both men, but could plant the seeds of something for the future.
(Image courtesy of Phet Yindee Boxing Promotion / Thairec)
According to Thai sources the WBC Minimumweight title bout between unbeaten champion Wanheng Menayothin (52-0, 18) [วันเฮง ไก่ย่างห้าดาวยิม] and Tatsuya Fukuhara (21-6-6, 7) [福原 辰弥] has been rescheduled.
Originally the bout was set for March 1st though sources are now reporting it has been pushed back 4 weeks, and will instead take place on 29th. There isn't a clear reason given as to why it has been scheduled, but there more to this story.
First it appears that Wanheng will return in the ring before facing Fukuhara, battling against WBA champion Knockout CP Freshmart (19-0, 7) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท]. The sources report that we will get the two world champions in the ring together, though unclear if it will be a joint public training session or a public spar, on February 22nd as both put touches towards their training for their next defenses.
For Wanheng that next defense will be the Fukuhara bout at the end of March. For Knockout things aren't totally clear, though it seems like he will be risking his title in April, rescheduled what was supposed to be a late March, though his opponent and the exact date of his bout are currently unknown.
It should be noted that the Wanheng Vs Knockout confrontation will take place on a card that will also see Satanmuanglek CP Freshmart (10-0, 4) [สะท้านเมืองเล็ก ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท], aka Tanawat Nakoon, battle against Crison Omayao (24-18-4, 8) in a bout for the OPBF Silver Light Flyweight title. Both are expected to be shown on the Channel 7 broadcast from 13:45 to 15:45 local time.
Earlier today news broke from Thailand that WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin (52-0, 18) [วันเฮง ไก่ย่างห้าดาวยิม] would be making his next defense on March 1st.
Over the last few months the Thai had been linked to fights in on the road against Tsubasa Koura (14-0, 9) [小浦 翼], in Japan in April, and Shin Ono (23-9-3, 6) [小野 心], this past December, also in Japan, but sadly it seems like his first bout on Japanese soil will now be pushed back.
Instead the news from Thailand today is that the unbeaten world champion will instead be fighting in Chonburi against former foe Tatsuya Fukuhara (21-6-6, 7) [福原 辰弥] who has won 2 bouts since losing a very competitive bout with Wanheng in November 2017.
For Wanheng the bout will be his 11th defense of the WBC world title, a title he won back in November 2014, when he stopped Oswaldo Novoa. Although his reign is the longest active one for any man in the sport he is best known for surpassing the 50-0 record of Floyd Mayweather Jr, something he did last year when he defeated Pedro Taduran in August, and moved to 51-0.
For Fukuhara the bout would be his second shot at Wanheng, and if we're being honest he was a lot more competitive than the score-cards suggested in their first bout, and would give him a second chance to become a 2-time world champion, having previously held the WBO title.
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