Today Samakoto claimed the title with a dominant performance and managed to stop the Thai in the 3rd round, giving Kwanthai his 4th stoppage defeat and potentially ending the Thai's long career.
Sakamoto got on the front foot early, using his jab well and seemed like a man fighting with a point to prove. The Thai looked to fight back, and threw some big looking hooks, but struggled to connect with anything meaningful as Sakamoto took the first two rounds.
In round 3 the Japanese fighter detonated a hook on Kwanthai which hurt the visitor and a follow up sent him down shortly afterwards. Kwanthai showed his championship spirit by rising up off the canvas, but was down again soon afterwards and counted out.
With the win Sakamoto will likely now begin a chase of WBO champion Kimura, seeking a rematch with the man who beat him last year. As for Kwanthai this is likely to be his last notable bout.
At 33 years old and fighting well above his best weight his career Kwanthai really doesn't have much left to offer the sport, and this was his 3 loss in 7 bouts, having previously been 45-2-1.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)