Over the coming week Thai fans will get a couple of notable rematches on the fringes of world level. The first of those comes on Thursday when the unbeaten Knockout CP Freshmart (11-0, 6) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] faces the excellent Nicaraguan Carlos Buitrago (28-1-1-1, 16) in a bout for the WBA “regular” Minimumweight title.
These two men met back in October 2014 in a very hotly contest bout that Knockout won, via unanimous decision. That bout was Kncokout's coming out party in many ways and although he failed to shine he did get the all important win whilst Buitrago was left feeling heart broken by the judges, for the second time following a draw with Merlito Sabillo the previous year.
Since their first meeting neither has been hugely active. Buitrago has fought just once, beating Mario Rodriguez last March, whilst Knockout has fought twice, beating Muhammad Rachman and Alexis Diaz.
Of those bouts Buitrago did look highly impressive beating Rodriguez, dropping the Mexican twice and securing a 10 round decision win. For Knockout the win over Rachman was relatively straight forward, but he did get taken 12 rounds, whilst the win over Diaz was essentially a 1-sided beat down after a competitive opening round. That Diaz bout showed how good Knockout can be, though also said a lot about Diaz's limitations.
In the ring Buitrago really is a joy to watch with his boxing and combinations being a key to his offensive work. He is regarded as a protégé of the sensational Roman Gonzalez and whilst he's not as good as Gonzalez he is just as fun to watch with very fluid punches, a lovely arsenal of punches, real spite, excellent movement and wonderful speed. He has shown very few faults and, with a more powerful team behind him, he could very easily have an unbeaten record right now, and a world title.
Sadly for Buitrago his promoter doesn't have the power to drag champions away from home and whilst that has seen Buitrago collect stamps on his passport, with bouts in the US, Mexico, Philippines and Thailand, it has also cost him in his two most notable bouts.
Whilst Buitrago is a beautiful to watch boxer the same cannot be said for Knockout, however that's not to say it's not enjoyable to see Knockout in the ring. He's more of a boxer-puncher, with an aggressive mentality and a come-forth style that can look fundamentally flawed but is hard to avoid. He's defensively tight, heavy handed and the sort of fighter who looks like he will walk through hell fire to land his shots, if he needs to. He's slower, and smaller, than Buitrago but is the more physically imposing and of course has home advantage, a big advantage in Thailand.
Prior to becoming a boxer Knockout was a standout Muay Thai fighter, a triple crown winner and one of the best active fighters in the sport. His style as a boxer is more fluid than that of many Muay Thai fighters who turn over to Western boxing, but there are fundamental flaws in what he does at times and he often seems to struggle transitioning from defense to offense.
When the two men get in to the ring this coming Thursday we're expecting a very close bout, and again we're expecting to see the judges play a key role. Unfortunately for Buitrago we suspect those will again side with the home fighter who will likely take another very close decision in a bout that is more intense than their first meeting. Unfortunately for Buitrago we see not only the travelling being an issue but also the inactivity with just 10 rounds in the last 16 months. That type of inactivity will likely cost Buitrago some of his ring sharpness and allow Knockout a better start than he had last time out.
World Title Previews
The biggest fights get broken down as we try to predict who will come out on top in the up coming world title bouts.