Thailand's Samartlek Kokietgym (17-4, 5) has arrived in Japan ahead of his WBC Light Flyweight title fight with Japanese superstar Naoya Inoue (6-0, 5). The Thai, who has been written off by almost everyone who follows the sport, has ignored many of those who have doubted his chances and promised to take the belt back to Thailand with him, a promise that he knows he will struggle to keep.
Samartlek may not boast the best record though he does boast a lot of experience, at least in Muay Thai where we have been told he has had more than 200 fights. That sort of experience doesn't show up on a boxing record but is valuable experience all the same.
Not only is the Thai experienced but he is very confident. He has said that he is "glad" to have the chance to fight for the world title but also that he will "bring the belt back".
We've not yet seen Samartlek in an open training session though we are expecting that to happen later today. That could tell us a lot about Samartlek, though from footage of him he really isn't fit to challenge Inoue who is likely to take him out early and retain his title in double quick fashion.
(Image, of Samartlek, courtesy of Nikkan Sports)
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