Some bouts genuinely leave us wondering what is going on in our great sport, and not in a good way. This Friday sees one such bout as unbeaten Thai Teerachai Kratingdaenggym (23-0, 17) defends his PABA Welterweight super title against a Mexican challenger.
The PABA, or Pan Asian Boxing Association, is, well, the Asian off shoot of the WBA. How a Mexican qualifies for a PABA title fight is genuinely a mystery though it seems that Fernando Castaneda (21-7, 14) is some how able to fight for an Asian title. Now idea how but that's what we have.
Teerachai, pictured, one of the most promising young Thai's in the sport, is a fighter who has been slowly climbing in to the world rankings on the back of credible, as opposed to great, victories. The 21 year old, who is incredibly strong, has already shown traits needed to become a future world champion. He has shown solid power, the ability to go 12 rounds, a hurtful jab and very solid skills that appear to be developing fight after fight.
Although relatively untested, with his best win to date coming against Behzod Nabiev, Teerachai is a fighter who is likely to be moved up this year as he attempts to make the most of his skills. Unfortunately however he kicks off his year with this fight against Castaneda.
Castaneda, who has been a professional since 2007, has had a relatively up and down career. The peak of it came in July 2011 when he defeated Fidel Monterrosa Munoz though just months later Castaneda was stopped by Johan Perez in an interim world title fight at Light Welterweight.
Since the loss to Perez things have been good on paper for Castaneda with 4 wins though they have all come at a very low and he did lose his most recent contest, being out pointed by unbeaten Colombian Janer Gonzalez.
Fighting in Asia for the first time it's hard to see Castaneda coming away with a positive result, even more so when you consider he's facing a hard hitting and well schooled fighter in Teerachai who will be looking to establish his heavy jab and hurtful straight right. When the Thai gets them going then it's hard to see Castaneda surviving the distance. The Mexican will likely start well though by the mid rounds will have slowed with Teerachai and the Thai conditions getting too much for the Mexican challenger, who has already been stopped 3 times, including two to much lower level fighters than Teerachai.
We're not sure how the PABA have sanctioned this one though we are sure that Teerachai will be successful.
The PABA may not currently have a working website but they do have some of their titles on show this coming Friday. One of the two PABA title fights on Friday sees the Light Flyweight title on the line as Thailand's Samartlek Chaiyonggym (14-4, 5) meets Filipino journeyman Donny Mabao (21-20-1, 4).
Samartlek, pictured, is the better known of the two men. Aged 29 he has been a professional since 2010 and holds several noteworthy victories, including decisions over Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr and Muhammad Rachman. Despite those two big victories however Samartlek is probably better known for his losses to Yuki Chinen, Denver Cuello and Randy Petalcorin, all of which came on foreign soil.
Although somewhat unknown Mabao has had an interesting career and faced a genuine whose who of who. This has seen Mabao sharing the ring with Wisanu Kokietgym, Kwanthai Sithmorseng, Paipharob Kokietgym, Merlito Sabillo, Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep, Ryo Miyazaki, Mateo Handig and most recently Florante Condes. Whilst he has lost to most of those men he is actually on a 4 fight winning streak with victories over Handig and Condes.
Unfortunately for Mabao he has several issues going in to this bout. Firstly he has been inactive since December 2012, when he upset Condes, and second he is 0-9 on the road. He has never won outside of the Philippines. With this fight taking place in Pathum Thani, Thailand it's hard to see him changing that run, especially considering he lacks power with just 4 stoppages in 41 bouts.
Although not a big hitter himself Samartlek will feel that his home field advantage as well as the fact he has been active more recently than Mabao will see him through to victory.
Having fought 4 times in 2013, including bouts for the interim PABA Minimumweight and WBC Asian Boxing Council Minimumweight title Samartlek will be rust free and confident, even more so when you consider he's on a 6 fight winning streak. Despite this we believe the fight will be very competitive, much more so than the records of the two men would have you think. With that in mind we'd favour Samartlek to claim the title in a hard fought decision.
On the same card we expect to see a PABA Super Featherweight title fight featuring Terdsak Kokietgym in what looks like a much more predictable contest.
For many in the west Thai Terdsak Kokietgym (51-4-1, 33) is best known for his first name. Unfortunately for him many fans don't seem to realise that he's actually a genuinely talented fighter who has been in and around the world stage for the better part of a decade.
Having fallen short in world bouts with Juan Manuel Marquez, Steve Luevano and Takahiro Ao some may feel that Terdsak will never win a world title. The Thai however appears confident that he will get another chance somewhere down the line. Though of course that does depend on his future results.
This coming Friday sees Terdsak returning to the ring for his first fight of 2014 as he defends his PABA Super Featherweight title against Filipino southpaw Mark Sales (20-35-3, 6).
Unlike the Thai champion Sales is much less well known. He doesn't have the humorous name or the world level experience though he is certainly an experienced fighter with 58 bouts and 432 rounds on his ledger. Unfortunately for Sales he also doesn't have the world level skills, despite being a man who has shared the ring with numerous high level fighters.
In a career dating back to 1997 Sales has shared the ring with genuinely talented fighters including Pongsaklek Wongkam, Fahlan Sakkreerin, Nonito Donaire, Sod Kokietgym, Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo and Ji-Hoon Kim. All of whom have either won or challenged for a world title.
Whilst Sales having lost to pretty much every notable name he's fought, other than Bernabe Concepcion, it's fair to suggest that he hasn't really got the talent to push Terdsak all that hard. Though what Sales certainly does have is toughness. In his 58 fight career Sales has been stopped just 4 times, the most recent of which came back in 2004 against Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo. With this in mind we think he could give Terdsak some decent rounds, though it's hard to see anything but a Terdsak victory.
Ranked #11 by the WBA Terdsak will know that he could get one more world title fight somewhere down the line, though at 32 years old he hasn't got long to earn it and will know that a loss to Sales will see his world title dreams over, with that in mind he'll have his game face on and get the job done here. He'll use his skills and power to slowly grind down the tough Filipino and either take a clear decision or a late stoppage as he looks for his 6th straight victory since losing to Ao back in 2012.
Having canned the old "Full Schedule" of Asianboxing we have instead decided to concentrate more on the major bouts. This section, the "Preview" section will look at major bouts involving OPBF and national titles. Hopefully leading to a more informative style for, you the reader.