In January we reported that Wanheng Menayothin (40-0, 15) [วันเฮง ไก่ย่างห้าดาวยิม] set to return to the ring on March 3rd to defend his WBC Minimumweight title against Japan's Go Odaira (12-4-3, 1) [大平 剛]. Today we have been informed that Odaira's team at the Hanagata gym, have confirmed the bout and will be holding a press conference in Japan this week to officially announce the contest.
The bout, which will take place in Nakhon Ratchasima, will be Odaira's second world title bout, following a loss at the end of 2014 against Katsunari Takayama for the IBF and WBO titles. More notably however it will be his first contest outside of Japan.
The challenger, a 10 year veteran aged 31, fought only once last year, defending the Japanese Minimumweight crown against Yutaka Sowano. Domestically he has got some good names on his record, like Hiroya Yamamoto and Takashi Kunishige, but internationally he's not scored any win of note, in fact all 19 previous bouts have been against Japanese opponents.
Aged 30 the champion is the younger man, though is also a veteran having debuted more than 9 years ago. He won the WBC title in 2014, with a stoppage win over Oswaldo Novoa, and has since defended it thrice, albeit against relatively limited challengers. Despite lacking big name wins Wanheng is an impressive fighter who is very defensively sound and knows how to apply very intelligent pressure to break opponents down. It'll be that pressure that he's hoping to use against Odaira to extend his unbeaten run.
Notably Odaira will be going to Thailand with more than just the title on his mind, and in fact he'll be looking for his place in history. To date no Japanese fighter has won a world title in Thailand and Odaira will be hoping to become the first to achieve that feat. He will however be regarded as a massive under-dog against a man some regard as the best in the division.
Wanheng Menayothin to defend against Go Odaira?
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