To kick off an exciting weekend of boxing fight fans turned their attention to Thailand for a WP Boxing event shown on WorkPoint in Thailand and DAZN internationally. It wasn't a massive show, but it was a rare chance for fight fans in the west to see boxing from Thailand on a premium service, and it was a chance to see a nice mix of young prospects, veterans and notable names all in action.
The DAZN broadcast of the show kicked off with a fairly low key bout, as Danai Ngiabphukhiaw (8-2, 4) made light work of Wichet Sengprakhon (11-10, 6), stopping him in 3 rounds in a rematch of a bout the men had back in December. With this win Danai has now reeled off 6 straight victories after starting his career 2-2 and it seems clear the youngster does have some potential, even if Wichet was an incredibly limited opponent. As for Wichet he has now lost 4 of his last 5 including 2 to Danai.
The first major bout of note on the show saw WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Flyweight champion Phongsaphon Panyakum (12-1, 6) [พงศพล ปัญญาคำ] retain his title in impressive fashion, as he battered former world title challenger Karoon Jarupianlerd (44-11, 20) [เพชรบางบอน ศิษย์หมอวิวัฒน์], aka Petchbarngborn Kokietym, over 10 rounds.
The opening round was one sided, with Phongsaphon coming forward, pressing his man backwards and pounding him against the ropes. Rounds 2 and 3 were even more one sided, with Karoon doing his best to protect himself and land the occasional counter, the best of which came late in round 3. Sadly for Karoon he simply couldn't get Phongsaphon's respect and the younger man continued to walk him down round after round. Despite the pressure from Phongsaphon the veteran wasn't just folding however and in round 5 he managed to walk the younger man on to plenty of good shots. Sadly for him they merely seemed to irritate the younger, fresher, hungrier man, rather than really bother him.
Despite taking a hammering round, after round, after round, Karoon refused to go away and as we went into the second half of the fight he had more and more success, landing some lovely clean uppercuts as Phongsaphon held his feet up close. They continued to be more of a hinderance than a real problem for Phongsaphon, though they did show that the youngster did have a lot of work to do defensively, even if he was in control of the action.
After 10 rounds the decision was a formality with Phongsaphon taking a clear unanimous decision, with scores of 98-92, 97-93 and 98-92a second time, though credit goes to Karoon for making this a fun bout, with his gritty determination and will to win showing through out the contest. Despite his excellent effort it is worth noting that even if he had won Karoon wouldn't have won the title given he failed to make weight for the bout, coming in at 116.7lbs.
The main event of the bout saw former 2-time WBC Super Flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (50-5-1, 43) [ศรีสะเกษ นครหลวงโปรโมชั่น] take on former WBA Minimumweight champion Kwanthai Sithmorseng (50-8-1, 27) [ขวัญไทย ศิษย์หมอเส็ง], also known as Ekkawit Songnui, in what was a clear tune up for Srisaket.
From the opening round it was clear the talented 2-time world champion had little respect for his older, smaller foe and applied constant, though very basic pressure. Kwanthai, to his credit, tried to fight back in spurts, but was second best in every area and was dropped for the first time in rounds 3 as the pressure got too much for him. Kwanthai managed to beat the count, and complete the round, though remained on his stool at the start of round 4, with a badly swollen left eye.
Despite winning this without needing to break a sweat, we suspect Srisaket would have wanted more than just 9 minutes of action here to shake whatever ring rust he had. He looked dominant from the opening bell, but never got out of second gear. As for Kwanthai this was another performance from him that suggests he simply hasn't got it any more, and should seriously consider leaving the sport rather than taking any more punishment.
The final notable bout on the show saw rising Super Bantamweight contender Chainoi Worawut (14-0-1, 12) [ชายน้อย วรวุฒิ] defeatformer 2-time world champion Pungluang Sor Singyu (54-10, 36) [ผึ้งหลวง ส.สิงห์อยู่], and retaining WBC Asia Super Bantamweight title.
Sadly at the weigh in Pungluang had missed weight, by a staggering 5lbs, making him ineligible to win the title, though the bout went ahead regardless.
The opening couple of rounds saw Chainoi control the action well behind his jab, keeping the usually aggressive Pungluang at range. The veteran came to fight, but he was struggling to close the distance, with Chainoi not only having the better jab but also the better movement and quicker footwork. In round 3 we finally saw Pungluang having some sustained success, getting close, and showing his trademark smile as he began to cut the cut the distance. His success parlayed into more success in round 4 as he landed some huge overhand rights on to the youngster, who was being give a genuine chin check by the veteran. The youngster was outworking and out landing Pungluang still, but things were getting tougher for the promising youngster.
Despite some worries in rounds 3 and 4 Chainoi managed to get back behind his boxing and ended up controlling much the rest of the bout, though he did seemed to be buzzed at one point in round 7as a right hand from Pungluang landed clean. That big shot aside the youngster never looked too phased by the veteran, who seemed to lack the fire and vigour we've seen from him in the past. In fact it seemed like he was there with the purpose of asking questions of Chainoi, without really going through the gears himself and showing what he can really do.
After 10 rounds it was a wide decision win for Chainoi, and his biggest win to date, but it felt like there was more both men could have done here. On paper this is a good win for the youngster, but it wasn't the type of bout that will prepare him for a world title bout any time soon.
Earlier today in Thailand we got a show from Tantelecom Promotions and it was an interesting one for the fledgling promotional outfit. It was certainly not the biggest show, but it did feature two bouts we were very interested in and regarded as noteworthy contests.
The first of the two notable bouts saw novice professional Thitisak Hoithong (1-0) [เก่ง แทนเทเลคอม] look sensational as he schooled former 2-time world title challenger Wittawas Basapean (34-15-1, 12) [วิทวัส บาซาเปียน] aka Samartlek Kokietgym, over 6 rounds. This was, supposedly, Thitisak's professional debut but he looked like a man with years of professional experience, and seemed super relaxed, calm and sharp though out.
From the opening round it was clear Thitisak wasn't your average novice. He was landing crisp, clean shots from the off, looked like a natural boxer-mover, with smart, quick footwork, accurate punching, and brilliant shot variety. As the bout went on we got a bit of everything from him. He showed he could attack the body, box behind his jab, push forward as a pressure fighter, and even used the shoulder roll at one point.
The only real complain was that the bout was only a 6 rounder as Thitisak looked very capable of going 8 on his debut, and probably even 10. He looked so relaxed, so calm, dictated the pace through out and really never looked in any trouble. The only time he was caught himself he fired back and hurt Samartlek.
We're not sure what the scores were, but we did go to the cards after 6 rounds with Thitisak taking the decision. We could only find a case for Samartlek to have taken a single round, and that was a round where Thitisak focused almost entirely on defense. Even with the novice turning off the offense for the round he still seemed to land the biggest and best single shot of the round.
Given that Samartlek has only been stopped by Denver Cuello, Naoya Inoue and Akira Yaegashi we were surprised by the number of times Thitisak hurt him, and we dare say if the two meet again in 12 months Thitisak could end up stopping the tough veteran in a 12 rounder.
The second bout on the show of note saw touted prospect Nattapong Jankaew (7-0, 3)get given the biggest test of his career as he successfully defended the WBA Asia Super Flyweight title against former world title challenger Petchbarngborn Kokietgym (44-10, 20).
On paper this looked set up for Nattapong to shine against a name opponent, who had faced Naoya Inoue a few years ago. Instead however it became a seriously tough test and Nattapong was under pressure through out, rocked several times and almost dropped in round 2 by a Petchbarngborn left hook.
Although he survived the scare in round 2 Nattapong never managed to look relaxed for long and was constantly being pressed, pressured and put on to the back foot by the veteran, who looked incredibly determined. This made for a compelling battle of will Vs skill, with Petchbarngborn all fighting from will, desire, hunger, and Nattapong trying to box, keep things at range, and stay away from the heavy counters of the veteran and avoid being pinned on to the ropes.
To his credit Nattapong did have some good rounds, though we don't feel he did enough to actually get the win here. We felt he was tested, and he failed to pass the test. The judges however managed to give him the bout, giving him the decision and allowed him to maintain his 100% winning record, though he did so with some good luck, and fortune.
We are big fans of Nattapong, but this was a poor performance from a man we know can do better. He got caught early and seemed to lose his confidence, whilst Petchbarngborn seemed to build on his and seemed to land a lot of left hooks, showing a serious flaw for Nattapong and his team to work on before he returns to the ring.
Earlier today Tantelecom promotion announce their November show, and it's a pretty interesting one, featuring one of the brightest prospects on Thai boxing, along with two former world champions.
The main event will see the really highly regarded Nattapong Jankaew (6-0, 3) [สาม แทนเทเลคอม] take on former world title challenger Petchbarngborn Kokietgym (44-9, 20) [เพชรบางบอน ศิษย์หมอวิวัฒน์], aka Karoon Jarupianlerd.
For Nattapong, who was last seen in the ring defeating Samartlek Kokietgym, more about him in a moment, this is a second notable name on his record and a chance to further move towards a world title fight. The talented young Thai, himself a former amateur standout, has looked brilliant since turning professional and really does have the talent to go a very, very long way in the sport.
As for Petchbarngborn the bout will see him look to build on wins over Filipino foes Matthew Arcillas and Renz Rosia. He is best known for for his 2016 loss to Naoya Inoue, in a bout for the WBO Super Flyweight title, since losing to Inoue he has gone 9-1 (4) and is very much a live opponent for Nattapong here.
The main event will be for the "interim" WBA Asia Super Flyweight title.
Also on this card will be Wittawas Basapean (34-14-1, 12) [วิทวัส บาซาเปียน] aka Samartlek Kokietgym, who will be up against Thitisak Hoithong (?-?) [เก่ง แทนเทเลคอม], who we believe could be making his debut.
Sadly very, very little is known about Thitisak, though he will be fighting at Flyweight here. Samartlek on the other Wittawas on the other hand is well known for bouts against the likes of Naoya Inoue, Akira Yaegashi and Mark Anthony Barriga, and he appears very much to have assumed the role of domestic Thai journeyman, testing domestic prospects on a regular basis. Since losing to Barriga in 2017 the Thai has gone 1-7-1 and shared the ring with some of the best prospects in Thailand.
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