The first of today's notable Asian shows came from the WorkPoint Studio in Bangphun where we had an unbeaten Thai hopeful in the opening bout of the event and a former 2-time world champion in the main event. Sadly we also had controversy mar over the show.
The first bout saw the unbeaten Apichet Petchmanee (7-0, 2) [อภิเชษฐ เพชรมณี] retain the WBC Asian Boxing Council Lightweight title with what could only be described as a gift. The touted Apichet was up against Thai based Russian challenger Musheg Adoian (7-2, 7), who must wonder what exactly he needed to do to get a decision after this.
The bout started competitively and there wasn't much to pick between them in the opening round. That however was just the opening round, with the bout quickly changing in round 2.
Round 2 began as a good round for Apichet, who was picking some really nice shots, especially his uppercut's, but he was dropped hard at the end of the round by 2 big right hands that sent the champion down. The bell saved Apichet from further punishment but he was still a wounded fighter in round 3, and he was dropped just seconds into the round. This was a big knockdown, from a left hook, and the Thai seemed to be on the verge of being taken out. Some how he survived, despite having a torrid round, and managed to clear his head.
Following a nightmarish round 3 Apichet then rebounded well and seemed to take rounds 4 and 5 by changing tactics, boxing and moving, and not letting the harder hitting Adoian land his bombs. Despite the change in tactics Apichet failed to land anything that hurt Adoian, who seemed to walk through everything that the unbeaten Thai landed. That, obviously, wasn't winning Adoian rounds, but was making it clear that the Thai didn't have the power needed to get his respect. That was something that likely played on Apichet's mind in round 6 and 7 as Adoian began to press more, forcing the Thai to hold, spoil, and be as negative as possible.
It was the final 2 rounds, rounds 7 and 8, where Apichet's negativity seemed to seal his fate for us. He simply didn't do enough to win either round. He was too busy trying to look cute, and not landing anything of value to take either round. Given the knockdowns he was in a hole and his performance in the final 6 minutes it seemed clear that he had given the bout away.
Sadly for Adoian the judges felt otherwise and although we're not 100% certain on the scores, Apichet did get the majority decision here to retain his title and unbeaten record.*
We had this one 77-73 Adoian, though can certainly see it being a round closer, though we can't see see how a judge could have Apichet winning.
Following the controversy in the Apichet Vs Adoian bout we saw a completely uncontroversial bout as former 2-time WBC Super Flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (49-5-1, 42) [ศรีสะเกษ นครหลวงโปรโมชั่น] took the chance to shake some ring rust with a 2nd round TKO win over Filipino fighter Jomar Fajardo (17-18-2, 9). This really was all Srisaket from the opening bell as he walked down the Filipino and forced a stoppage very late in the second round.
*Note - Apichet was announced as SPLIT decision winner, but the scorecards have been posted since then confirming the results was a MAJORITY decision, with scores of 76-74 Apichet, twice, and 75-57, even.
Tomorrow fight fans tuning in to WorkPoint TV in Thailand will get the chance to see former 2-time WBC Super Flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (48-5-1, 41) [ศรีสะเกษ นครหลวงโปรโมชั่น] take part in a stay busy bout as he takes on Filipino fighter Jomar Fajardo (17-17-2, 9). The bout will be the main event of the next "WP Boxing event", and is very much regarded as a stay busy bout for Srisaket, who is hoping to land a big fight in the near future.
The bout, being fought at a contracted 120lbs, saw the two men take part in their weigh in today and both men hit the scales bang on the contracted limit.
Although he's the clear favourite Srisaket looked somewhat fleshy at the weigh in. It's clear this isn't his fighting weight, of course that's 115lbs, but Fajardo looked in good shape. He wasn't shredded, like some fighters, but he certainly appeared to carry 120lbs better than the former 2-time world champion.
At the weigh in the promoter really summed things up for Srisaket. He stated the fight is there to knock the rust off Srisaket, and to prepare him for a world title bout next year. He added that Srisaket must show his ability.
For fans outside of Thailand wanting to watch this WorkPoint do usually stream their boxing shows to a global audience on their facebook, which can be found here.
(Image courtesy of WP Boxing)
Earlier today we had the latest in the WP Boxing Series, which was made available world wide. It was streamed via Work Point and Matchroom Sport and made available in Latin America as part of the ESPN Knockouts series of broadcasts.
In the opening bout of the show talented prospect Chainoi Worawut (11-0-1, 10) made light work of under-sized Filipino fighter Jomar Fajardo (17-16-2, 9). The opening round saw Chainoi stalking and pressuring Fajardo with little coming back, and in round 2 the Thai put his foot on the gas and landed a power straight that dropped the Filipino. Fajardo got to his feet before the 10 count but the decision was made to stop the bout, with his corner stepping in rather than leave him in there to take more punishment.
Thankfully it appears this was little more than a tune up for Chainoi who is expected back in the ring in September to defend his minor titles on another WP Boxing event,
We then got the main event, which saw former world champions colliding in one of the most significant bouts in recent Thai boxing history. The match up saw Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (48-5-1, 41) [ศรีสะเกษ นครหลวงโปรโมชั่น] needing to work incredibly hard to defeat 40 year old veteran Amnat Ruenroeng (20-4, 6) [อำนาจ รื่นเริง].
Coming in Srisaket, a former 2-time WBC Super Flyweight champion, was 1/9 favourite but those odds didn't reflect the early action. Instead of Srisaket dominating he was made to look slow, and off. His timing wasn't there and his pressure was countered well by Amnat, who landed frequently with his superior hand speed and ring IQ shining through. Although Srisaket had been out of the ring for well over a year he was still looking a lot worse than anyone had expected.
Amnat, a former IBF Flyweight champion, looked really good in the first few rounds, and really didn't look like he was 40, heading towards 41. He also got a boost when a clash of heads in round 3 left Srisaket with a nasty cut around his left eye.
Sadly for Amnat however as the bout went on he began to look his age, and from round 7 he really wasn't able to get much success, with Srisaket's pressure really paying off. Srisaket had landed body shots through out, but in reality it was the relentless effort from the 33 year old, that took it's toll on the older legs of Amnat who looked like he was fighting on fumes in the later stages. Despite that he managed to hear the final bell, something very expected before hand,
Given the good start by Amnat and the very strong finish from Srisaket it was clear this was a very competitive contest and the scores cards mostly showed that, with the reading out the cards as 97-94, 96-93 and 99-91, all in favour of Srisaket.
Although it's a win for Srisaket the performance wasn't great. Some will write it off as ring rust, and the stop-start nature of this bout which was rescheduled several times. In reality it's a third straight bout where he's not looked like the man he once was and with his 34th birthday later this year we do if, perhaps, it's a sign that he's actually a fighter who's very much on the downside of his long, and successful career.
As for Amnat, we wouldn't be surprised to see a regional prospect actively chasing a bout with him, to try and get his name on their record. As long as the bout is over 10 or 12 rounds they'll get a very good test out of him and have an excellent chance of getting a former world champion on their record.
In the third bout on the broadcast the talented Thananchai Charunphak (9-1, 7) faced off with novice Kwanchai Pliankhunthod (0-2). Despite his lack of experienced Kwanchai made an effort of things earlier on, but in round 3 he began to take a battering at the hands of Thananchai. Despite the punishment Kwanchai took he managed to grit it out until a body shot took broke his resistance in round 5 and a follow up barrage sent him down for the count.
Jonathan Taconing retains OPBF Light Flyweight title with 10th round technical decision victory over Jomar Fajardo
One of the things we hate about boxing is seeing fighters battle to a high ranking and then sit there, waiting for a shot whilst facing horribly inferior opposition in what amounts to stay busy fight, after stay busy fight whilst they tick over and wait and wait and wait. The safety first match making has made the sport frustratingly clinical and sterile and once a fighter approaches a world title fight their competition seemingly becomes worse than it was.
With that said we would like to applaud Filipino slugger Jonathan Taconing (22-2-1, 18) for facing compatriot Jomar Fajardo (14-9-2, 7) earlier today in an OPBF title fight that could very easily have been a banana skin.
Fajardo was a relative unknown last year but back-to-back bouts with former unified Minimumweight world champion Francisco Rodriguez Jr, including a draw, saw him prove his ability to be a a test, at least around Light Flyweight. It is fair to say that he had lost 4 of his last 5 but they had all come outside of his natural weight, and in fact he had fought as high as Bantamweight during that run and had rarely been given full preparation time.
Today Fajarado came to the ring with full preparation, real desire a genuine hunger. He know that a win would net him an OPBF title and at least one world ranking. It was a great opportunity and he knew he had to go for it.
Taconing, who won the title last year winning a war with Vergilio Silvano, had been the champion for 18 months and although he had fought a couple of stay busy fights he had also gone to Mexico and stopped the world class Ramon Garcia Hirales. That win over Hirales had strengthened Taconing's position in the world rankings and he could well have waited until the WBC ordered him to fight in an eliminator, something he is due given his #1 world ranking. Instead though he took on a well prepared Fajarado in a bout that Filipino fans should have known was going to be a war.
The fight lived up to the expectation as both men traded blows in a genuinely enthralling contest. Although both traded there always seemed to be a bit more class and power in the blows of Taconing who was showing his world class ability in an attempt to break down Fajarado. The challenger, to his credit, refused to fold and fought back, albeit with mixed success.
Despite the brave effort from Fajarado he was well down on the cards when a headclash forced the men to the scorecards at the 10th round. The cards all favoured Taconing, with scores of 98-91, 97-91 and 97-91 though those scores don't give credit to Fajardo's effort which was excellent despite the fact he was, clearly, beaten.
Now we're hoping that Taconing will get his long awaited world title eliminator. If not it's fair to say that he will continue to put in exciting performance as he did here. For Fajardo this result is one that he will take a lot of credit for and he became the first man since Kompayak Porpramook, more than 3 years ago, to avoid being stopped by Taconing, and it needs to be noted that it looked like Porpramook was bailed out by a very kind ringside doctor who got the Thai a technical decision win in a bout that really was very controversial.
Tomorrow is a huge day for fight fans around the world with numerous bouts taking place in the UK and the US. In total there will be 4 world titles and almost a dozen bouts of note.
For us one of those bouts is an exciting looking OPBF Light Flyweight title bout between heavy handed champion Jonathan Taconing (21-2-1, 18) and exciting challenger Jomar Fajardo (14-8-2, 7). Today both fighters took part in their weigh in and both looked in incredible shape for what promises to be an all out war.
Sadly at the time of writing the weights of the two men haven't been made public though looking at the condition of both fighters they are both rearing to go and and both look like they are going to put up a real fight in what could be the fight of the weekend.
Taconing looks to continue hunt for world honours by facing Jomar Fajardo in OPBF title bout
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