For years, before we started this site in fact, Thai Channel 7 has been one of the biggest boxing channels in Asia, with regular output. In fact at one point in time it seemed like Channel 7 had a show every Friday morning, with a few other cards sprinkled in through out the year.
Today we were sadly informed that Channel 7 are scaling back, massively. Though perhaps not surprisingly.
Many will have noticed the sudden lack in Thai shows in 2019, and to some extent 2018, compared what they had been in 2015 and 2016. This appears to have been down to the channel really changing it's direction on the sport. Until today however the official line was unclear, we just knew that their content out put was down. It seemed like that could have been down to new players in the market, with Thairath and Workpoint both picking up shows.
Today it was revealed by our sources that the channel has changed it's policy and will only be showing world level bouts, dropping the supporting shows and the regional title bouts completely from their broadcasts. The statement is clear as day, they have had enough of the mismatches and time wasting that Thai promoters had been putting on the channel. Officially the new stance is that they will not show "sub-committee" fights, so that's things like WBC Asia Boxing Council or WBA Asia title fights. Whether they will allow them in supporting bouts is unclear, but those level of bouts will not be allowed to headlined cards.
At one point the almost weekly content on "Ch7" generally featured mismatches for lesser titles. Shows of nothing more than mismatches, with the local Thai's beating up limited visitors, predictable contests between a local prospect or contender and an opponent that really had no right being in the ring. Now however it will only be top tier action on the channel, who appear to be putting down a marker for promoters wishing to be featured on their channel.
This has already had implications, with the up coming bout between Nop Kratingdaenggym (22-1, 8), aka Anurak Thisa, and JR Magboo (17-2-2, 8), for the WBA Asia Featherweight title, being delayed as a result. Originally the bout, which is a decent one in fairness, was scheduled to take place on Channel 7 on March 22nd. Now the bout has been pushed back to later in the month and will be on Channel 3 SD, a much less popular channel.
The policy change has been criticised by at least one notable Thai promoter, who claim it will harm boxing in Thailand and lower exposure of the fighters, though in reality it looked like it had been in the works for some time and that the channel had been wishing to bring in some restrictions. The policy might be harsh, but does seem to be clear. It's maybe an over-correction, though in reality Thai promoters had gotten away with showing far too many mismatches for far too long and hopefully this will lead to better match making, and less risk aversion from the promotional teams wanting to work with Channel 7.
On December 30th we'll see Takuma Inoue (12-0, 3) [井上 拓真] face off with unbeaten Thai Petch Sor Chitpattana (48-0, 33) [เพชร ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] on December 30th.
We've now been informed that the bout will be televised live in Thailand, with the bout being shown on Channel 7 at 5PM local time.
Interestingly this wasn't the only news to come from Thailand about the contest today.
Sources in Thailand are reporting that both the team of Petch and Ohashi are attempting to get the WBC to change the status of the bout, from the WBC "interim" Bantamweight title to the WBC "regular" title.
According to the sources the both teams are looking to get the WBC to change status of the title due to the repeated delays of the match up between Rau'shee Warren (16-2-0-1, 4) and Nordine Oubaali (14-0, 11), which won't take place until January 19th after having been delayed.
At the moment it's unclear whether the teams will manage to convince the WBC to switch the titles, but there is clear pressure on the WBC to act, after having had the title essentially on ice since March, when it was stripped from Luis Nery for failing to make weight.
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