This past weekend we saw Thai Downua Ruawaiking (16-1, 13) [ดาวเหนือ เรือไวกิ้ง], aka Apinun Khongsong, suffer an opening round loss against unified IBF and WBA Light Welterweight champion Josh Taylor (17-0, 13).
The bout ended when Downua was stopped following a body shot late in round 1. It lead to some, especially those working with British TV, accusing the Thai of taking a dive.
Earlier today the Thai and his promoter spoke about the result.
Downua revealed he was sad by the result and for disappointing fans, though did thank fans for their support. Interestingly it was suggested that he would rest before returning to the ring and increase in weight. Given his frame that may not be a bad idea.
Thankfully it appears there is no major injury following the bout. The fighter's promoter stated that Downua had been badly hurt by the body shot and was subsequently taken to hospital, reportedly the Royal London Hospital. After the fighter had check ups it was found there was nothing seriously wrong with him.
Despite the disappointment of the weekend it seems that the fighter and his team are taking some positives from the experience, likely realising they do need to test their man more before a world title fight. Given Downua is only 24 time is there to rebuild and this isn't the end of his career, even if it is hard to imagine getting another world title figth any time soon.
Tomorrow we'll see unbeaten Thai Downua Ruawaiking (16-0, 13) [ดาวเหนือ เรือไวกิ้ง], aka Apinun Khongsong, take a massive step up in class as he battles unified IBF and WBA Light Welterweight champion Josh Taylor (16-0, 12).
Earlier today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in and the two men both made weight. In fact both men weighed in and came in comfortably under the limit.
The Thai was on the scales first, and was announced as being 9st 13lb 8oz, which is the same as 139.5lbs. The champion then got on the scales and weighed in at 139.25lbs, marginally lighter than the challenger.
Following the weigh in the two men took part in a socially distanced stare down, whilst also wearing masks, in what was a rather awkward looking stare down before touching elbows.
For those that want to watch the weigh in we've included the Top Rank video from it below.
Related - Unbeaten Thai takes on unified champion Taylor!
Fanlong Meng and Downua Ruawaiking have September dates pencilled in for world title bout!
Earlier today Dan Rafael, writing for RingTV, broke the news that Top Rank are planning to have 9 shows over an 8 week period running from mid-August to mid-October.
Those dates will include some shows in the US and some over-seas, with two of those shows set to see Asian fighters getting their mandatory shots at world titles.
One of those bouts is the Light Heavyweight world title fight between Russian Arthur Beterbiev (15-0, 15) and China's Fanlong Meng (16-0, 10) [孟繁龙]. Last month this bout was being eyed for a September 25th date in Ekaterinburg, Russia and today it seems that date, barring any changes to the global situation, has been locked in. The bout was previously set to take place in March in Canada before issues relating to the on-going global crisis forced those plans to be cancelled.
The bout is a mandatory defense of the IBF Light Heavyweight title by Beterbiev, who also holds the WBC title. Meng on the other hand will be getting his first shot at a world title.
Just a day later, September 26th, we could end up seeing the Light Welterweight title bout between Scotland's Josh Taylor (16-0, 12) and Downua Ruawaiking (16-0, 13) [ดาวเหนือ เรือไวกิ้ง], aka Apinun Khongsong. This will see Taylor defending the IBF and WBA Light Welterweight world titles against his IBF mandatory challenger, and is expected to come in the UK, though a city wasn't named.
As with the Beterbiev Vs Meng bout this one is another bout that has had to be re-arranged. It was originally set for May 2nd in Glasgow, before sport in the UK was put on hiatus.
Of course we caveat all the above with the typical "details subject to change", and given the current global situation things really can change very quickly.
Notably there was nothing mentioned in regards to the next bout of WBA and IBF Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) [井上 尚弥], who was supposed to fight WBO champion John Riel Casimero (29-4, 20) back in April.
A total list of the planned bouts can be found here thanks to Dan Rafael.
More bouts postponed!
With coronavirus cases now growing worldwide we've began to see more and more postponements and the latest of those involve Thai fighters.
Firstly the April 4th WP Boxing event, which was set to be headlined by 2-time WBC Super Flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (47-5-1, 41) [ศรีสะเกษ นครหลวงโปรโมชั่น] battling former IBF Flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng (20-3, 6) [อำนาจ รื่นเริง] has been provisionally postponed until May 2nd, which is when Work Point would have been planning their next show. The reality however is that we suspect that will be pushed back further with cases in Thailand growing rapidly, with 50 cases confirmed today and more expected.
It's worth noting that this bout was expected to be held behind closed doors, and even that has now been decided as not being enough.
Rather oddly Thailand was a country that appeared to be slow to react to coronavirus, despite the fact it's geographically so close to China and South Korea which were badly effected, and we suspect the epidemic will likely force a suspension of boxing, and other sports, well into the later part of the year, if not into 2021 and beyond.
The other, which was coincidentally set for May 2nd, is the IBF and WBA Light Welterweight world title bout between Josh Taylor (16-0, 12) and Downua Ruawaiking (16-0, 13) [ดาวเหนือ เรือไวกิ้ง]. This bout has been postponed but no date is yet being announced for the event.
For those with tickets refunds are available from the point of purchase.
Earlier this month news broke that the IBF and WBA Light Welterweight world title bout between Josh Taylor (16-0, 12) and Downua Ruawaiking (16-0, 13) [ดาวเหนือ เรือไวกิ้ง], aka Apinun Khongsong, was heading to Scotland in early May. Late yesterday the details were confirmed by Taylor's promoter Top Rank.
The bout will, as previously reported, take place on May 2nd at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow. It will be Taylor's second defense of the unified titles, which he unified last May when he beat Ivan Baranchyk, and will be his 4th straight fight against an unbeaten opponent. The WBSS winner , who has been on a great on recent years, will know that a win here will open up doors to a huge 4 title unification bout later in the year against Jose Carlos Ramirez, who is also promoted by Top Rank.
As for Downua this will be his first world title fight and only his second fight outside of Thailand. He made his international debut last year, when he scored a career best win by stopping Akihiro Kondo in 5 rounds in Tokyo. Sadly since that big win he has fought just a solitary stay busy fight, beating Yosmar Kefi of Indonesia last July.
The bout will be shown on ESPN+ in the US, and will also be shown in the UK and in Thailand, though the broadcasters for those countries have yet to be confirmed.
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