Last year we saw Thailand's Pungluang Sor Singyu (51-3, 35) [ผึ้งหลวง ส.สิงห์อยู่] become a 2-time world champion as he scored a 2nd round TKO win against Japan's Ryo Akaho to claim the WBO Bantamweight title, for the second time. He returns to the ring on February 12th to make the first defense of that title as he takes on little known Filipino fighter Jetro Pabustan (26-2-6, 7), in a voluntary defense of the title before a meeting later in the year with Marlon Tapales.
The experienced Thai, who turned professional back in 2004 after a long Muay Thai career, didn't have an amateur career but seemed a natural at boxing and less than 2 years after his professional debut he won bis first title, the WBC Youth title. As the WBC Youth champion he ran up some solid wins, over the likes of Monico Laurente and Eden Sonsona before losing in his first bout outside of Thailand, a very controversial loss to Stephane Jamoye in Belgium.
The loss to Jamoye was a set back for the young Thai but he rebuilt well and in 2009 he travelled to the Philippines for his second fight away from Thailand. This time he managed to score a win on his travels, stopping AJ Banal to claim the WBO Bantamweight title in a minor upset. Sadly Pungluang's reign was short lived, losing the title in his first defense as he went to Namibia and was beaten by Paulus Ambunda.
Following Punglunag's loss to Ambunda the WBO title went on a weird journey which saw Tomoki Kameda claim the title from Pungluang's conqueror before defending it against Pungluang, stopping the Thai with a vicious body shot, and Alejandro Hernandez. A third planned defense, against WBA “regular” champion Jamie McDonnell didn't sit well with the WBO who stripped Kameda and ordered the bout between Pungluang and Akaho, which Pungluang won in Ratchaburi.
In the ring the Thai is a smiling assassin. Since the loss to Jamoye back in 2009 he has gone a very impressive 28-2 (21) and is 5-0 (4) since losing to Kameda. He is a pressure fighter who described himself in a recent interview as “diligent” and that hard work shows with the Thai capable of keeping up a great pace for 12 rounds and being tough, with his only loss being the one to Kameda from a truly sickening body shot.
Whilst we know a lot about the champion, the same cannot be said of the challenger, who we really don't know a great deal about, and who we surprisingly lack solid footage of. The lack of footage, and wider knowledge, sees Pabustan living up to his nickname of the “Silent Operator”, with very few people raving about the 26 year old southpaw.
Stood at 5'7” he's a tall Bantamweight, and from his record it's clear he's a hard man to beat, with just 2 defeats from 34 bouts. Incidentally both of those losses, as well as 4 of his wins and 5 of his draws, have been technical decisions, suggesting that Pabustan's bouts are full of head clashes, and that may be an issue here. It's probably the fact he's a southpaw that there's so many headclashes in his bouts but it's very notable than 11 of 34 bouts have ended in a technical decision.
Although Pabustan has gone about things quietly there are some note worthy names on his record. These include Monico Laurente, who beat him in 2014, as well as the once touted Kenny Demecillo and former Minimumweight title challenger Vergilio Silvano. Sadly those three names aside it's hard to describe Pabustan's competition as being anything better than Filipino domestic level.
Notably Pabustan has never fought away from home and has never gone 12 rounds coming in to this one.
Whilst it can be hard to predict a bout on so little information we can't really imagine how Pabustan can win given, with his lack of experience, limited power and the fact the bout is in Thailand. He is the taller man, and is a southpaw, but he'll need to have the performance of his life to over-come Pungluang here.
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.