The WBA “interim” titles have become a real issue. No longer are the titles used for the original purpose of being an “interim” belt but instead they act as a whole new title allowing the WBA to collect extra sanctioning fees for bouts that typically don't feature a world class fighter. Sometimes they lead to good bouts, though bouts that could easily have been eliminators, other times however the bouts are little more than a marketing tool for the promoters to make money and sell a show.
In the talent laden Flyweight division, which features the likes of Roman Gonzalez, Juan Francisco Estrada, Kazuto Ioka, Juan Carlos Reveco, Amnat Ruenroeng, Brian Viloria, Takuya Kogawa, Edgar Sosa, Johnriel Casimero, Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep and McWilliams Arroyo the need for the best to face the best is obvious, especially for titles.
Unfortunately rather the WBA forcing bouts between the likes of Ioka and Estrada they have allowed 3 title holders. Estrada is the “Super” champion, Ioka the “regular” champion and Stamp Kiatniwat the “interim” champion.
On December 10th, 3 weeks before Ioka faces Reveco in a rematch, we'll see Stamp (14-0, 6) defend his title against the man he beat for the belt, Gregorio Lebron (13-3, 11).
Their first bout, which came back in August, saw Stamp claim a majority decision over Lebron, a fighter from the Dominican republic, courtesy of two 10-8 rounds. The decision seemed to upset Lebron's team, who accused two of the judges of bias and lead to the WBA calling for a rematch, leaving us where we are now.
In their first bout both took turns to be the aggressor in what was a brilliant bout overall. Although a vaunted puncher Lebron only really seemed to hurt Stamp once whilst Stamp scored two knockdowns, and came the closest to forcing the referee to stop the fight. For many who watched the fight though Stamp was spending too many rounds being negative and backing off rather than than making the most of his speed and skills.
Since their first bout neither man has fought, however they have both aged. For Stamp that will have seen the teenager mature and grow more into a man. He's still a teenager but certainly a more mature man than he was in their first meeting. For Lebron he's aged and is now heading towards his 34th birthday, an old age for a man in the lower weights. Sayign that however Lebron hasn't been in many wars and has only tasted 53 rounds of professional experience, making him a very fresh 33 year old.
In their first fight it was Stamp who looked the more intelligent fighter, especially early on, when he landed counter hooks, flashy combinations and showed good movement. He was however the man who was under-pressure and looked like a fighter unsure of himself. Lebron however looked like a powerful and aggressive man, looking to teach the boy a lesson with his power punches. We're expecting much of the same here, with Stamp looking to use Lebron's pressure against him whilst Lebron will again be looking to use his vaunted power to stop the youngster, and keep the judges out of the result.
For both men however this bout will be different to their first. Lebron will know the judging away from home isn't as favourable as it is at home. He'll be more aggressive and look for the KO more intently than he did last time out. As a result he may take more risks and leave himself more open to the counters of the Thai. As for Stamp he may himself have fewer lulls, make a bigger statement when he attacks and try to make his rounds clear when he wins them. The Thai may also swing less widely when he attacks, having missed wildly with a number of left hands in the middle rounds. We suspect the key difference will be confidence with both men feeling more confident this time around and both looking to make the most of that when they get in the ring.
We suspect that this will have a lot moments like their first fight, with Lebron coming forward and Stamp countering. We however think that Stamp will manage to prove a point and score a stoppage late in the bout, proving that he has improved from the first bout and that he has matured as both a man and a fighter
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.