On June 2nd we see the return to the ring of WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin (37-0, 12) who looks for the second defense of his world title. Originally we were expecting the talented Thai to be facing South Korean foe Young Kil Bae, though after Bae suffered a training injury he was replaced by Filipino foe Jerry Tomogdan (17-5-3, 9). On paper the replacement bout is a downgrade in terms of the challenger, though it's fair to say that he'll be going in to this bout with a lot of confidence and nothing to lose.
The challenger is genuinely unknown outside of the most hardcore of fans and the fans of the Filipino domestic scene. It's on the domestic level that Tomogdan has claimed his best wins to date including a narrow decision win against Joey Canoy for the PBF (Philippines Boxing Federation) Minimumweight title just last year. Sadly it's also been his results on the domestic scene that have told us how limited he is with a notable 12 round draw against Crison Omayao being his latest result.
Tomogdan has faced a small number of notable foes with Joebert Alvarez forcing a 6th round KO against Tomogdan in 2012 whilst Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep won a technical decision against him in 2013, just 7 months before Yodmongkol went on to stop Koki Eto for the WBA interim Flyweight title. Sadly however it's a loss to Boy Tanto which stands out as the most notable defeat on his record. That loss to Tanto wasn't one sided by any means, in fact Tomogdan had good reason to believe he deserved the win, however just being in a competitive bout with Tanto is rather damning of his ability and power.
At just 21 years old we'll admit Tomogdan has improved a lot since that loss to Tanto and on paper his record is messy due to facing some good fighters whilst he was still a boxing baby. Although still a youngster he's had to develop in the ring and what we have now is a promising at 21 years old, but one who still has a lot of untapped potential. What he has going for him coming in to this bout however is that he's a southpaw and also relatively tall, standing at 5'5”, for a Minimumweight.
When Tomogdan fought Tanto he showed some nice touches. He kept calm, despite Tanto bending the rules at times, showed relatively nice movement and speed and did look like a young fighter who was finding his way in the sport. Notably as the bout wore on Tomogdan did appear to grow into the contest and times he genuinely looked really promising, though it was against a limited foe. That bout did come more than 18 months ago, and since then Tomogdan has gone 6-0-1, though unfortunately it's the latest one that we have film of and it's the most recent bout to try and get a read from.
Of the two fighters involved the champion is much more well known, in fact Wanheng is one of the most notable active fighters in Thai boxing and the 29 year old is genuinely of of their most exciting and fun to watch fighters. He has also notched up a few notable wins of his own and looks to be one of those few Thai fighters who is as good as his record suggests.
Much of Wanheng's career was spent building. He turned professional in 2007 and faced on sporadic tests, such as a bout with Ardin Diale in 2008, Florante Condes in 2011, Crison Omayao, also in 2011, and Yuma Iwahashi in 2013. It wasn't until 2014 that we saw him finally competing at the world level where he over-came Oswaldo Novoa for the WBC title. For many fans that win was a weak one to wn the title with Novoa not being a genuinely tier champion, for others however it was the much needed break out win for Wanheng who had been ranked for a while but never made that step up.
Since winning the title last November we've seen Wanheng defend it once, taking a wide decision against the previously unknown Jeffrey Galero. Although Wanheng won it decisively we'll be honest and say that Galero looks like he could become a staple on the OPBF title scene in the future. Unfortunately for the challenger he was unable to cope with Wanheng's strength, experience and over-all style, which is built on a lot of very educated but intense pressure that sees the Thai wearing down his opponents mentally and physically. His arsenal includes all the punches in the book but really it's his smart defense and intelligent footwork that has made him such a solid fighter.
When looking Wanheng's record we don't see the really big wins, yet, but we suspect they will come down the line. For now however it's a waiting game a possible fight with Denver Cuello is possible for later this year. First he will need to over-come Tomogdan in what looks, really, like a mismatch.
From the footage available of both Tomogdan actually looks “made to order”. He's a mover but with no real power there will be little to stop Wanheng from cutting the ring off, getting close and unleashing to the mid-section of the challenger. Those body blows will take their toll and we suspect that Tomogdan gets stopped in the second half of the bout by the genuinely excellent Thai.
(Image courtesy of Thairec.com)
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