This past weekend we had a really interesting card from Thailand as TL Promotions put on their latest show under "The Fighter" banner. The card featured two noteworthy bouts and both of those bouts were followed up by some pretty interesting news stories.
One of those stories was in regards to a match up between Tanes Ongjunta (8-1, 4) [จอมโว ก.ศักดิ์ลำพูน] and former world champion Kompayak TC Muay Thai (61-12, 41), [คมพยัคฆ์ ทีซีมวยไทย].
According to Komthai this will be Kompayak's final bout and he is now retiring following his long career, which began more than 20 years ago!
Although never a superstar of boxing Kompayak has had incredible career behind him. He has been a credit to Thai boxing, a true stalwart of the Thai scene and the type of fighter who has done so much more in the sport than many realise. He has reached the pinnacle of the sport, winning the WBC Light Flyweight in 2011, featured in instant classics, against Adrian Hernandez and Koki Eto, he has fought on the road, and has gone on to help bring the new generation of Thai fighters through.
The other news story regards teenage prospect Phoobadin Yoohanngoh (11-0, 6) [แสงอาทิตย์ ลูกทรายกองดิน], aka Sangarthit Looksaikongdin, who defeated former world title challenger Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo (61-8, 41) [ชลธาร อ.พิริยะภิญโญ], aka Suriya Tatakhun, over the weekend.
Following his win Phoobadin appeared to call out Apichet Petchmanee (8-0, 2) [อภิเชษฐ เพชรมณี], who's in action on April 3rd defending his WBC Asia Lightweight title against Kaewfah Tor Buamas (29-7, 19) [แก้วฟ้า สวนปาล์มฟาร์มนก], aka Krai Setthaphon. In all honest there isn't too much competition left in Thailand for Phoobadin and Apichet is one of the very few interesting match ups left at home for him. Given his call out was public there is real hope this bout will take place.
Outside of Apichet the only other potential bouts for the unbeaten Phoobadin at home are bouts against Thai based Dutchman Nick Frese (10-1, 8), the aforementioned Kaewfah Tor Buamas, former Apichet foe Musheg Adoian (7-3, 7), who's a Thai based Armenian, and former world title challenger Downua Ruawaiking (16-1, 13) [ดาวเหนือ เรือไวกิ้ง], aka Apinun Khongsong. Outside of that small number of men he will need to begin looking at international opponents.
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!
On Saturday we'll see unbeaten Thai Downua Ruawaiking (16-0, 13) [ดาวเหนือ เรือไวกิ้ง], aka Apinun Khongsong, take on IBF and WBA Light Welterweight champion Josh Taylor (16-0, 12) in a bout being held in the UK. The bout is widely regarded as a mismatch in favour of the unbeaten, unified, champion, though it is a mandatory title defense bout from Taylor, with the Thai earning his shot by stopping Akihiro Kondo in spectacular fashion in a world title eliminator last year.
Unsurprisingly the bookmakers have made Taylor a very, very clear betting favourite. The best odds available on the Scot are a prohibitively unattractive 1/25 to win. Amazingly some bookies see that as too attractive, with one pricing the champion at a ridiculous 1/200 to win. The odds on the Thai challenger are typically around 10/1 though are available as high as 16/1 with the right bookies. As for the draw the odds are typically between 33/1 and 28/1 though shopping around you can finds odds as big as 40/1 on the draw.
For those considering backing Taylor the method of victory market may be more compelling than the straight "To win" market.
A win for Taylor by KO/TKO or DQ has been priced at 1/3, and all the bookies have this listed as the most likely outcome. Incidentally a decision win for Taylor is 3/1. On the other hand the Thai is available at a massive 18/1 to win by KO/TKO or DQ and score what would be one of the biggest shocks of the year. As a for a decision win, the Thai is available at a staggering 40/1 with one bookmaker.
Given the odds on a stoppage for Taylor it'll be no surprise that the bout is not expected to go the distance. You can get 2/7 on the bout finishing early and 3/1 on the bout going the 12 round schedule. As for the "Length of Bout" market, most bookies have got this one set at 7.5 rounds. The over has been priced at 10/11, whilst the under is best priced at 5/6.
Related - Unbeaten Thai takes on unified champion Taylor!
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.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!