Boxing can, and is, often full of hyperbole, and trying to build a fighter's reputation and name quickly to grab attention, whether the fighter deserves it or not. For every sensational prospect, like Naoya Inoue or Kosei Tanaka we've seen a flop who failed to cut it for whatever reason, such as Stamp Kiatniwat or Marvin Sonsona.
With that in mind we need to be cautious when raving about young prospects. However 16 year old Thai Phoobadin Yoohanngoh (10-0, 5) is making it really hard to not get over-excited. That is particularly true after what we saw him do earlier today Suamlum Night Bazaar, on a TL Promoted event shown live on Thairath. In fact what we saw from Phoobadin today makes it impossible not to suggest that Thailand have a genuine future champion making his name.
The unbeaten teenager, who turns 17 in January, was up against the unbeaten Atchariya Wirojanasunobol (13-1, 5) earlier today, with Phoobadin looking to defend his WBA Asia Light Welterweight title for the first time.
Coming in to this it looked like a real test for the teenager. After all Atchariya was a highly touted fighter himself until he ended up being arrested on drugs charges, which were later dropped. He had looked good in his in ring return earlier this year and was once tipped for big things. Whilst he was potentially on the slide he was still only 31 and was very much a fighter with a point to prove.
In the opening round Atchariya pressed the action, he was the one coming forward, but that was at some expense as Phoobadin began to read him, counter him with big single rights hands and mentally crack Atchariya. The pressure from the challenger continued in rounds 2 and 3, but round by round Phoobadin was building his success, growing into the fight, and slowly starting to make Atchariya apprehensive. The right hand counters were eye catching, the body shots were subtle, and the movement was smart. Phoobadin was slowly taking the fight out of Atchariya without putting a lot of effort into things.
By round 5 Atchariya was slowing to the point where looked unsure of himself. He seemed to realise that when he threw he was going to get countered. Not only was he becoming less willing to throw shows but Phoobadin was beginning to open up more himself, ending the round with a good flurry.
It seemed like Phoobadin was happy to out box Atchariya, fight a slow, deliberate bout, and take control slowly. Relying on his boxing and speed rather than anything else. Then everything changed as Phoobadin let his shots go, and landed a shot around the ear that seemed to totally take the legs away from Atchariya, who wobbled. A following wobbled him again, before he hit the canvas for the first knockdown. He got to his feet without any problems but Phoobadin smelled blood and went in for the kill, scoring a second knockdown and then a third forcing Atchariya's corner to come in to the ring before he got back up.
Despite fighting at a very slow tempo for 4 and a bit rounds Phoobadin impressed here. He showed he could box, he could get a read on an opponent, he could counter and then, when the time came for it, he could turn up the pace, put his foot on the gas and force a finish. This was a very, very complete performance for a 16 year old who will know there is pressure on his shoulders but seems very comfortable with that pressure and seems to be getting better fight after fight.
Tomorrow in Thailand we'll see a really interesting WBA Asia title bout at 140lbs as 16 year old champion Phoobadin Yoohanngoh (9-0, 5) [แสงอาทิตย์ ลูกทรายกองดิน] takes on fellow unbeaten Atchariya Wirojanasunobol (13-0, 5) [อัจฉริยะ อำนาจมวยไทยยิม] on the latest episode of "The Fighter", promoted by TL Promotions and shown on Thairath.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the bout and both men made the 140lb limit, although they did so in different fashions.
The 31 year old Atchariya made weight first time, coming in under the limit at 139.8lbs. For him him this will be just the second bout for more than 2 years, after being arrested on drugs charges at an airport on route to a fight in Japan, against Andy Hiraoka. Those charges collapsed this year, but by then he had already all momentum in his career, his rankings, and had been out of the ring for well over a year by the time of his release. He is now looking to get his career back on track, and looked decent last time out, when he took a clear decision win over Kaewfah Tor Buamas in September. That was his first bout in over 2 years and came when Kaewfah actually replaced Phoobadin, who suffered an injury in the build up to the bout.
Whilst the challenger made weight with no issues, the champion actually did struggle to make weight. On his first attempt make weight he was 140.8lbs and needed a second attempt on the scales to make weight, hitting the limit of 140lbs dead on. It's unclear if he actually struggled with the weight, or just misjudged things, but it's a worry ahead of what is a very big step up in class for the youngster. A win here boosts his standing, and will push him on to the fringes of the WBA world rankings, but a loss will leave many wondering whether the 16 year wunderkind is really as good as touted.
Again for fans wanting to watch it will be aired from 4PM local time on Thairath, which is Thai TV channel 32.
(Image courtesy of - The Fighter Thailand)
It's fair to say one of the few winners of 2020 in terms of boxing has been Thailand, with the country giving us some excellent match making this year, and perfectly blending match ups in a way we have rarely seen from the country. The inability to import foreign foes has made the promoters step up and deliver in some very impressive ways. Not only have they been bringing prospects along but they have also been matching veterans in some very fun to watch bouts.
Whilst Thailand has given us some great bouts it did seem like one got away from us in September, when teenager sensation Phoobadin Yoohanngoh (9-0, 5) [แสงอาทิตย์ ลูกทรายกองดิน] had to pull out of a bout against Atchariya Wirojanasunobol (13-0, 5) [อัจฉริยะ อำนาจมวยไทยยิม] due to an injury. Thankfully however that bout didn't vanish into the ether and it's now been confirmed that the bout will take place later this month! In fact the bout is now set for November 28th on the next TL Promoted "The Fighter" show, which will be aired live on Thairath, and will be for the WBA Asia 140lb title that Phoobadin won earlier this year.
Originally the contest had been set for September 26th before the 16 year old Phoobadin was forced to take time to rest. As a result Atchariya took on Kaewfah Tor Buamas (29-7, 10) [แก้วฟ้า สวนปาล์มฟาร์มนก], aka Krai Setthaphon, instead whilst giving Phoobadin time to recover. That bout resulted in a decision win for Atachariya, who was fighting for the first time in over 2 years.
For those that aren't aware Atchariya went through a nightmare 2 years. In 2018 he was arrested at a Thai airport on drug charges, days before a fight in Japan against Andy Hiraoka. Those charges against him collapsed earlier this year, though they had cost him 18 or so months of his career. His return to normality was an emotional one, and his hunger to get back into the ring to make up for lost time is something that needs to be commended.
As for Phoobadin the teenage sensation is regarded as one of the hottest prospects in Thailand, and has shown to be very advanced for his young age. He is now recovered from the injuries that kept him out of the ring in September and will be looking to score his most notable win to date as he takes on the 31 year old Atchariya.
Just moments ago in Thailand we saw the unbeaten Atchariya Wirojanasunobol (13-0, 5) [อัจฉริยะ อำนาจมวยไทยยิม] make a successful return to the ring after more than 2 years out of action.
The unbeaten Thai returned triumphantly, taking a 10 round decision victory over Kaewfah Tor Buamas (29-7, 19) [แก้วฟ้า สวนปาล์มฟาร์มนก], aka Krai Setthaphon, in a rematch of a 2018 bout between the men.
The bout wasn't the most exciting but, on the whole, Atchariya was busier, quicker and stronger than his countryman over the course of the 10 round bout. Kaewfaw, the naturally smaller man, did give a legitimate effort, but wasn't able to quite match up with Atchariya.
Whilst the action in the ring wasn't too notable there were two interesting sub stories surrounding the bout.
One of those was the fact Kaewfah took the bout on relatively short notice, jumping in at around 3 weeks notice after 16 year old prodigy Phoobadin Yoohanngoh (9-0, 5) [แสงอาทิตย์ ลูกทรายกองดิน] was forced to pull out due to injury. Due to the change in opponent Phoobadin's WBA Asia title wasn't on the line, but the WBA Asia South title was, with Atchariya now the proud holder of that belt.
The other sub story was the redemption of Atchariya, who's break from the ring was down to legal issues. He was actually arrested at a Thai airport last year, on route to a fight in Japan, due to links to a series of drug crimes. He was released early this year, with the case completely falling apart. He was only released a few months ago, but has rededicated himself to boxing and this win is a great sign that his head back in the sport.
Sadly whilst Atchariya did score a win here it can't make up for the 2 years of his career that were lost due to what appears to have been a wrongful arrest.
Earlier today TL Boxing Promotions confirmed that Phoobadin Yoohanngoh (9-0, 5) [แสงอาทิตย์ ลูกทรายกองดิน] was not going to be able to compete in a scheduled bout set for September 26th against the unbeaten Atchariya Wirojanasunobol (12-0, 5) [อัจฉริยะ อำนาจมวยไทยยิม].
The 16 year old sensation was sadly forced to pull out due to a back injury that has hampered his preparation for the bout. Rather than risk his health the promoter for the event have looked elsewhere to find a fitting replacement and have managed to come up with a good one, given the limited time frame.
The replacement to take on Atchariya will be veteran Kaewfah Tor Buamas (29-6, 10) [แก้วฟ้า สวนปาล์มฟาร์มนก], aka Krai Setthaphon, with the two men clashing for the WBA Asia South Welterweight title.
Whilst it's a shame that Phoobadin is out of this bout, which seemed a brilliant test on paper, we're glad to see a good looking bout take it's place, and one with a bit of history.
Back in 2018 Atchariya took a very thin majority decision over Kaewfah on a WP Boxing event. It was, and still is, the biggest win of his career. Sadly he has actually only fought twice since that win, having been arrested in 2019, on route to facing Andy Hiraoka, on drug charges. Those charges collapsed earlier this year, and the unbeaten Atchariya has decided to continue his boxing career, and try to get his career back on track of 31 and having lost 2 years of career.
Kaewfah will obviously be looking to avenge his loss to Atchariya, but since that loss he has gone 2-2, and has been stopped in his last 2 bouts. He is also the naturally smaller man and, at 34 years old, the older man.
Given the late replacement nature of the bout, and the history between the two men, and Atchariya's out of the ring issues, we do like this bout. It's as good as the originally scheduled bout, but it's certainly not a bad replacement.
For fans wanting to watch this one live, it will be aired on Thairath, Thai channel 32, from 16:10 local time on September 26th. And we think we talk for everyone by wishing Phoobadin a speedy recovery from his injury.
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