Earlier this year we saw former amateur boxing star Vasyl Lomachenko fight for a world title, the WBO Featherweight title, in just his second professional contest. Now, several months on, we see another fighter fighting for a world title in their second bout, this time however it's little known Thai Thongmanit Siriwan (0-1) not a former big name amateur and not a fighter who scored a big and notable win in their only previous bout. In fact, as you can see, Thongmanit didn't even win her debut.
Thongmanit will be challenging current WBA female Super Featherweight champion Hyun mi Choi (8-0-1, 2), a fighter we have the up most respect for and a fighter who we feel has had a life made for the big screen. Incidentally Choi actually won the WBA female Featherweight in her debut.
For us Choi's story is one of the best in boxing. She, and her family, came from Pyongyang and fought to escape the sadistic regime there before ending up in the neighbouring South Korea. In South Korea Choi has been able to live a somewhat normal life, she has been able to make her name as a boxer and she has been able to have the freedoms that would never have been given to her had she stayed in the North.
Whilst Choi's fight from North Korea to South Korea is a fairytale in it's own right, she has been sensational as a fighter and, as mentioned earlier, did win a world title in her debut. She has since become a 2-weight world champion and one of the very few shining lights in Korean boxing, at least as a professional. Her career might not be high profile outside of her homeland but she's a genuine inspiration in the boxing world and the type of fighter who should be looked at as proof of what boxing can help someone do.
Although we are massive fans of Choi and her story we can't really be a fan of this fight. Choi is talented, rangy boxer with solid skills, good speed, good technical know-how in the ring and more importantly a winners attitude. She has won her freedom and has now won 8 of her 9 fights as a professional fighter. In Thongmanit we have someone who hasn't fought a professional bout since 2012, who hasn't won a fight and has only fought 6 professional rounds.
Effectively what we have is a top level fighter in Choi, who is ranked #2 by Boxrec.com in the 130lb division facing off against a not very good, inactive novice in what is being dressed up as a world title fight. Trust us this is not a bout between world class talents. It's one world class talent against someone not fit enough to be her sparring partner.
(Image, of Choi, courtesy of koreatimes.co.kr)
Here we preview the key female title bouts involving an Asian fighter.