Thai fighter Knockout CP Freshmart (11-0, 6) may well have the best name in professional boxing but today he proved he was more than just a great name as he dominated dangerous Venezuelan Alexis Diaz (16-1, 10) in what was a surprisingly 1-sided affair.
Knockout, defending his WBA “interim” Minimumweight title for the second time, had come into the bout amid jokes of a name change to “Unanimous Decision CP Freshmart”. Today however he seemed to take those jokes personally and made sure that he wasn't going to be taken the distance again.
The opening round was a relatively typical feeling out round. Knockout came forward behind hig high guard looking to get a feel for the loose looking Diaz. Diaz looked good, he showed a nice array of shots and nice speed, but seemed to struggle to get the respect of Knockout who took shots on the gloves and managed to land some of his own right hands.
The sound round saw the action hotting up from the off with both letting their hands go more freely. Once again however it seemed that Diaz struggling to land much clean whilst Knockout, who looked crude at times, easily found a home for his right hand. More impressively from Knockout's point of view was how easily he was putting Diaz under pressure and it seemed like Diaz was being forced to work hard to create any real space between the two men.
The ease with which Knockout was applying pressure began to really tell in round 3 as he swarmed Diaz, forcing his will on the Venezuelan who had no real answer for the aggression of knockout. The pressure came with real spite from the Thai who was landing nasty right hands upstairs and downstairs and appeared to be bullying the visitor who was visibly wilting before a body shot sent him down late in the round. Had the bell not come seconds after Diaz had got to his feet it's likely that he'd have been stopped there and then. Instead the bell came and gave Diaz some respite from the onslaught that had begun to really break him down.
Following the third round it was clear that Diaz was going to need to change something quickly if he was to turn things around. Unfortunately for him he couldn't and Knockout was quick to resume his assault. The best Diaz could muster was some clinches to try and slow the Thai but Knockout wasn't to be denied. The champion managed to score his second knockdown with more body shots to a weak looking Diaz who recovered to his feet but had nothing to stop Knockout's follow up assault which forced the referee to intervene as the Venezuelan was heading down for the third time in the bout.
After the bout the handlers of Knockout appeared to call out South African fighter Hekkie Budler. Budler, the WBA “regular” champion is known to have been a long term target of Knockout and on this performance it's fair to say the Thai could be avoided by Budler who will bot be wanting to go to Thailand to defend his title. It's likely to come down to the WBA to enforce a mandatory between the two but it's very clear that Knockouts team will do their best to convince the WBA to “do the right thing”.
For Diaz this set back is massively disappointing. We had been impressed with footage of the visitor but it seemed that he had no idea how to cope with the pressure of offense of Knockout and the way he wilted was terribly disappointing, especially given his recent victories and his apparent confidence in the build up to the bout.
The Minimumweight division may feature the sports smallest fighters but right now the division is one of the most interesting with a number of fighters making their name at 105lbs and a number of interesting match ups being made there.
The most recent of the notable match ups in the division happened earlier today when the wonderfully named Knockout CP Freshmart (10-0, 5) made the first defense of the WBA interim title that he won a few months ago when he defeated Carlos Buitrago. In the opposite corner to the 24 year old Thai was Indonesian veteran, and former 2-time world champion, Muhammad Rachman (65-12-5, 35) a divisional legend looking for a surprising return to the top at the age of 43.
On paper this was notable for 2 reasons. The fighters had a huge gulf in experience, with Rachman being massively more experienced in the sweet science, whilst Knokcout had a 19 year “youth” advantage and is widely seen as one of the most promising fighters in the division, in fact some may suggest he's the second most promising young fighter at 105lbs, only behind super talent Kosei Tanaka.
In the ring, unfortunately, the gulf in age was what told with Knockout being too young, fresh and fast for his ancient opponent who struggled to cope with the tempo of Knockout who started fast, showed his youthful energy and always seemed a step or two ahead of his challenger.
Rachman, who had only been stopped once in his previous 81 bouts, showed why he had been selected as an opponent. He was tough and had a few tricks up his sleeve to teach his younger foe. He was never particularly dangerous in the fight but also refused to go away giving Knockout a chance to learn on the job and get some solid rounds in against a fighter with experience and know how. Sadly though that was the most telling significance of the bout, it was a public training session at times with Knockout on the offensive but unable to land killer blows.
Through much of the first 11 rounds it was all Kncokout. He had things pretty much his own way against a fighter hand selected as a challenger, in fact Rachman really shouldn't have been in a title bout at this stage in his career given he was effectively retired. Rachman did try, and credit to him for trying, but he never managed to really make a round that close. In round 12 however the challenger genuinely came alive, it was as if he sensed this would be the last round of his long career. He let his hands go and for the first time there was a round with real back and forth, unfortunately it was another that was won by Knockout, despite a good effort from the challenger.
Now it's expected that Knockout will try to chase a fight with South African Hekkie Bulder, the WBA “regular” champion, however it may be that Knockout needs to bide his time with Budler said to be eyeing a WBA-IBF unification bout with Katsunari Takayama in the summer. It would seem wise for Knockout to try and get another defense of his interim title before a meeting with Budler, or Takayama if he beats Bulder, later in the year.
(Image courtesy of thairec.com)
The month of October may have only just begun but we've already kicked off with "world" title action as a new WBA interim Minimumweight champion was crowned in the first bout of the month.
The bout in question saw Thailand's Knockout CP Freshmart (9-0, 5) narrowly defeat Nicaragua's talented Carlos Buitrago (27-1-11, 16) in what was one of the most competitive and fairly scored bouts that we've seen this year with little to split the men overall and no real complain about the scorecards.
The first round and the final round were the easiest to score. In both of those Knockout did very little as he effectively gave them away albeit for different reasons. It seemed he gave the opening round away to try and get a measure of Buitrago's speed and reach which were both clear advantages that the Nicaraguan visitor had, despite that the crowd cheered anything Knockout landed. The final round however was one where Knockout looked too tired to make much of an effort whilst also looking confident that he had done enough to take at least 7 of the rounds, a view the judges all agreed with.
Although he had given away the opening round Knockout came out fighting in the second round throwing bombs with the intention of stopping Buitrago. The shots that Knockout landed were eye catching and backed up the Nicaraguan fighter who seemed shocked by the sudden change in pace from the Thai who had done next to nothing in the opening round.
Rounds 3 and 4 were tough to score with both men giving as good as they got on the whole and these rounds could easily have been split either way on the score cards. They saw Knockout again landing the better shots but Buitrago landing the better volume of shots with his jab in particular being successful. It seemed the crowd were trying their best to sway the judges, cheering everything Knockout did but it they were too close either way and it really was a case of what you prefer between light volume on the back foot or aggressive pressure with heavy but fewer shots.
Through a number of the middle rounds it appeared that Knockout had began to find a groove and was backing up Buitrago whilst landing heavy artillery that caught the eye of everyone. Every punch Knockout threw was thrown with the intention of breaking Buitrago who seemed to depend on his jab, double and tripled, for all of his responses. It was strange that Buitrago seemed so committed to his jab despite how beautiful and flowing it looked through the contest.
In round 7 the Thai suffered a cut around the left eye. It was difficult to tell if it was from a punch or a headclash though thankfully it didn't matter either way the doctor said it was fine to continue and the two went back to work in what appeared to be a short round, as if they forgot to stop the clock whilst the doctor was inspecting Knockout who seemed to narrowly take the round.
The run of rounds that Knockout took in the middle was broken on our card by the 8th round which Buitrago appeared to win despite a late attempt at stealing it from Knockout who appeared to be slowing and suffering from his lack of finesse which led to him missing an awful lot of shots through the round. Missing when you're throwing bombs can take a lot out of a fighter and that appeared to be the case here in the championship rounds, especially the 12th.
Although clearly tiring Knockout gave his all in the following rounds as he tried his best to bag the rounds needed to take the win. As with earlier he was generally out worked though made up for it with his power shots and round 9 in particular was difficult to score either way as the men each gave as good as they got in a round that saw both men landing power shots.
By the end of round 9 swelling around Knockout's face was notable and telling, the effect of the countless jabs that Buitrago had been landing through out the contest. His heart however was still as it was at the start of the fight and he continued to try and stop Buitrago who took everything incredibly well and fired back in his own flurries.
By the start of round 12 it was clear that both were tired though it appeared pretty clear that Knockout was the more tired of the two and Buitrago still appeared to have some spring in his legs and snap on his punches. It showed through the round as Knockout did very little and almost welcomed Buitrago's punches, at one point smiling as if he knew he had done enough to win the bout even if he was giving away the round.
It was close and for the moments leading up to the score cards there was a feeling it could have gone either way. For once all 3 judges agreed on the scores with all 3 returning cards of 115-113 to the Thai and although Buitrago may have felt he did enough the cards were fair with 115-113 either way being very acceptable cards. Neither man had clearly won though when a fighter goes on the road they perhaps need to give their all to make sure they win, at the end it looked like Buitrago had plenty left in the tank. Whilst you do feel sorry when a fighter loses a close one we have less sympathy when it's clear they had plenty left in the tank and chose not to use it. Had Buitrago used up that excess steam there is a strong case that he could have won.
The win for Knockout does put him in the mix of the exciting Minimumweight division though on this performance he's really got work to do. He fought like he had dynamite in his hands but he doesn't have that type of power, he needs to add finesse to his shots and turn down the power slightly for more control. As for Buitrago this will be a painful loss though hopefully it will improve him as we do enjoy watching the Nicaraguan youngster. Strangely this bout may well improve both men in the long run and if that's the case then boxing wins.
World Title Results
Whether you like them or not World Titles add prestige to any bout as a result we've included the results of world title bouts in this special section.