Earlier today we got huge news from Thailand in regards to WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin (54-0, 18) [วันเฮง มีนะโยธิน], aka Chayaphon Moonsri, as his team announced his next defense of the Gold and Green belt.
The unbeaten champion, who not only sports a very good looking 54-0 record but is also the longest reigning active world champion, having held his title since November 2014. During that lengthy reign he has massed 12 defenses of the belt, the most for that particular title since Ricarod Lopez made 21 defenses in the 1990's.
The announcement regarding Wanheng is that he will return to the ring on November 27th to defend his belt against fellow Thai Petchmanee CP Freshmart (34-1, 22), aka Panya Pradabsri, who recently dropped down to Minimumweight to chase a world title shot at 105lbs.
Interestingly both men were in action this past Friday at the Rangsit International Stadium. The show there saw Petchmanee pick up the WBC Asian Boxing Council Minimumweight title, with a win over Wichet Sengprakhon, who retired in his corner. On the same broadcast Wanheng shared the ring for a short televised spar with WBA world champion Knockout CP Freshmart (21-0, 7) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท].
At the moment there is no confirmed venue for the bout, though it will be taking place, unsurprisingly, in Thailand.
For Wanheng this will be his 55th professional and his 13th title defense, and will be taking place when he's 35 year's old, ancient for a Minimumweight. During his long reign he has beaten the likes of Simpiwe Konkco, Tatsuya Fukuhara, Pedro Taduran, Melvin Jerusalem and Saul Juarez, but does lack a legitmate career defining win.
For the challenger this will be his second major bout, following a close loss in China to Xiong Zhao Zhong back in 2017. That loss was in a WBA International title fight, which lead to Zhong facing Knockout CP Freshmart for the WBA world title soon after. Since that loss he has picked up 16 straight wins, though his opposition has been a mix of low level foes, the best of which being the likes of Dexter Alimento, Robert Onggocan and Jerry Tomogdan. Despite his poor competition he has been knocking on the door of a world title fight, chasing a shot at Minimumweight, Light Flyweight and Flyweight.
The promoters behind the show have requested permission from the WBC to allow all the officials to be Thai's, given the on going global situation, and it appears they have been given the green light for that to happen.
To the best of our knowledge this will be the 14th time two Thai's have faced off in a world title bout and the first since November 5th 2010, when Kwanthai Sithmorseng beat Pigmy Kokietgym for the WBA Minimumweight.
Amazingly this appears to be the first time Wanheng has ever faced a Thai in professional, though he has twice faced Thai based fighters who were from abroad.
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