Earlier today Dan Rafael, writing for Boxingscene.com, reported the latest update in regards to the long running saga between WBC Bantamweight champion Nodine Oubaali (17-0, 12) and his mandatory challenger Nonito Donaire (40-6, 26).
According to Dan Rafael's report (which can be read here) the new plan is for the bout to take place on May 29th on Showtime, though a venue hasn't yet been sorted for the show.
The whole saga in regards to this bout goes back December 2019, when the WBC ordered the bout, instilling Donaire as the mandatory for Oubaali. That was after an eliminator between Luis Nery and Emmanuel Rodriguez fell apart with Nery unable to make weight. We then had the purse bids in January with TGB Promotions winning the right to hold the fight with a bid of $401,000.
Since then there has been a huge number of twists and turns. The most notable of those was the covid19 pandemic which pretty much put boxing on ice for a good portion of 2020. When boxing did return to the US the bout was planned for December 12th, as part of a brilliant showtime line up. And a line that, for the most part, went to plan which was a huge surprise given the Covid pandemic.
Sadly however there were some bouts that didn't end up happening from that Showtime line up, the most notable of which was the Oubaali Vs Donaire bout, which was cancelled in November when Oubaali tested positive for the virus, he would later be named "Champion in Recess".
As a result the WBC set up a bout between Donaire and Emmanuel Rodriguez for the title. Those plans were scuppered in December when Donaire tested positive, in what seems to have been a false positive.
Due to Donaire testing positive Rodriguez then faced, and controversially lost to, Reymart Gaballo for the WBC "interim" title. A result that lead the WBC to ordering a rematch. Whilst we awaited the rematch the plan was to begin work on re-arranging the Oubaali Vs Donaire bout, though Oubaali was originally granted permission to make a voluntary defense.
That voluntary defense would have seen Oubaali battle Nawaphon Nakornloung Promotion, aka Nawaphon Por Chokchai or Nawaphon Kaikanha, on March 13th in Paris. Before the fight fell through due Covid restrictions in France and the TV broadcaster also pulled out of the bout.
Rather shockingly both men will have been out of the ring since November 2019, when both men fought on the same show. That was was back on November 7th 2019 when Donaire lost a 12 round decision to Naoya Inoue [井上 尚弥] in the WBSS final and Oubaali took a decision over Naoya's younger brother Takuma Inoue [井上拓真], to unify the WBC regular and interim titles. If the bout does take place in May, then it'll be almost 19 months since either man last fought!
Earlier today in Bang Phun we got the latest show from the popular WP Boxing series of shows. The card wasn't a massive one, in fact it was one of the weaker shows in recent memory for the series, but it still featured several notable names.
The show kicked off with former world title challenger Nawaphon Por Chokchai (51-1-1, 41) [นวพล นครหลวงโปรโมชั่น], aka Nawaphon Kaikanha or Nawaphon Nakornluang Promotions, battling the limited Sophon Klachun (5-6-1, 1) [โสภณ กล้าฉุน] in a scheduled 8 rounder at 120lbs.
From the off Nawaphon marched forward, pressing intently but not really letting his hands go much through the opening round. It was clear he was trying to shake some ring rust and get some rounds under the bag.
As the rounds went on Nawaphon began to let his hands go more, and to be fair Sophon showed some ambition of his own. That ambition was however beaten out of the youngster, who was dropped in rounds 5 and 6. Credit has to go to Sophon for getting up and trying to fight back, but by the it was clear that Nawaphon had finished playing and was looking for the stoppage. Something he seemed to be determined to get and finally scored in roudn 7.
Despite scoring the stoppage Nawaphon was cut, made to look clumsy and really didn't look like a man on the verge of a world title fight. In fact as the bout went on he looked like a very frustrated fighter who just wanted to have a fight. The composure he showed early on went out of the bag when Sophon showed some fight and really this wasn't a particularly good showing from him.
The second bout of note saw Apichet Petchmanee (9-0, 2) [อภิเชษฐ เพชรมณี] retain his WBC Asia Lightweight title with a decision win against veteran Kaewfah Tor Buamas (29-8, 19) [แก้วฟ้า สวนปาล์มฟาร์มนก], aka Krai Setthaphon.
From the opening bell Apichet looked calm, relaxed and quick, out boxing Kaewfah at range, using his jab and footwork well to get off first and get away. It clear the men were in totally different levels in terms of skillset. Despite that credit goes to Kaewfah for trying to bring the pressure and make a fight of things. Round after round he trudged forward, walking into shots and showing little respect of Apichet's power.
Sadly the bout lacked drama. As the rounds went on it was clear Kaewfah's pressure simply wasn't enough to get to Apichet, who was happy to box at his pace. This made things rather predictable, and a touch dull, as he eased his way to a clear 10 round unanimous decision.
Despite the win for Apichet, who genuinely never looked in any bother, we don't see him reaching the heights once expected of him. We also don't expect him to take up the recent challenger put his way by teenager Phoobadin Yoohanngoh (11-0, 6) [แสงอาทิตย์ ลูกทรายกองดิน]. On this performance Phoobadin would be too good, too strong and too big for Apichet.
Earlier today WP Boxing announced the details regarding their next show, which will take place on April 3rd at the Work Point Studio, in Bang Phun. It's not a stacked card, and it's not a show that will streamed on DAZN like their March show, but it is a show that features several notable fighters competing on it and will be streamed for free on YouTube by Workpoint themselves.
The show will open with former world title challenger Nawaphon Por Chokchai (50-1-1, 40) [นวพล นครหลวงโปรโมชั่น], aka Nawaphon Kaikanha or Nawaphon Nakornluang Promotions, taking on Sophon Klachun (5-5-1, 1) [โสภณ กล้าฉุน]. This bout will take place at 120lbs and is essentially a stay busy bout for Nawaphon, who missed out on a WBC world title bout due to Covid19.
The second bout is essentially the main event here and will see the unbeaten Apichet Petchmanee (8-0, 2) [อภิเชษฐ เพชรมณี] defending his WBC Asia Lightweight title against Kaewfah Tor Buamas (29-7, 19) [แก้วฟ้า สวนปาล์มฟาร์มนก], aka Krai Setthaphon. This will be the third defense for Apichet and will see him looking to build on two wins last year over Musheg Adoian. For Kaewfah the bout will see him looking to end a 3 fight losing run.
As well as the two bouts mentioned above, there will also be 2 more bouts on the card, both featuring novices.
Earlier this month news broke that Nawaphon Por Chokchai (50-1-1, 40) was being eyed as the next challenger for WBC Bantamweight champion Nodine Oubaali (17-0, 12), with a bout pencilled in for March 13th in Paris. Now, however, reports from Thailand are that that bout is almost certainly off, due to the on going Pandemic.
Reportedly the bout was ruled out on Friday due to a number of problems, stemming from Covid19, and France's response to the pandemic, which would have made travel for Nawaphon pretty much impossible, and an issue with the TV channel that were planning to air the bout.
Interestingly the Thai's now report that the plan for Oubaali may be to defend his title against mandatory challenger Nonito Donaire (40-6, 26), in a bout that was scheduled for last December before Oubaali was forced to pull out due to being infected with Covid19. Though as of now no date or venue is being reported for that one.
The entire WBC mess at Bantamweight is a bit of a joke at the moment, and could well take until 2022 to tidy up. Not only due to the mandated bout between Oubaali Vs Donaire bout but also due to their "interim" title situation, with the WBC ordering a rematch between "interim" champion Reymart Gaballo (24-0, 21) and former IBF Bantamweight champion Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-2, 12), who ended up clashing in December with Gaballo taking a hotly debated decision over Rodriguez.
Yesterday Jake Donovan, in an article here on Boxingscene, revealed that Thailand's Nawaphon Por Chokchai (50-1-1, 40) may be set for a world title fight against WBC Bantamweight champion Nodine Oubaali (17-0, 12).
The bout has been scheduled to take place in Paris on March 13th, though there are various stumbling blocks to over-come. Something that isn't new when it comes to this particular title and Oubaali's reign.
Oubaali won the title in 2019, when he beat Rau'shee Warren for the vacant title. That bout that was delayed several times, causing there WBC to create an interim title whilst having a vacant full title, with Takuma Inoue [井上拓真] claiming the interim title in 2018. The titles would then be unified in late 2019, with Oubaali recording his second defense.
A planned eliminator to find Oubaali's mandatory was cancelled when Luis Nery failed to make weight, for a bout with Emanuel Rodriguez, with the WBC then electing to make Nonito Donaire the mandatory challenger, off the back of his loss to Naoya Inoue [井上 尚弥] in the WBSS final.
A bout between Oubaali and Donaire was set for last year, and then cancelled when Oubaali contracted Covid19. That saw Oubaali being made champion in recess and the WBC agreeing to a Donaire Vs Rodriguez bout for the title. Donaire then tested positive for Covid19 himself, in what is seeming a false positive, leading the WBC allowing Rodriguez to face Reymart Gaballo for the "interim" title. Unsurprisigly given the history of this title recently, that ended up with a controversial win, going in favour of Gaballo.
With Gaballo and Rodriguez now ordered to fight again, and Oubaali being given permission for an interim fight, he has seemingly decided to face the Thai veteran, and was previously linked to a bout with Yanga Sigqibo.
Of course the world we live in right now isn't what we lived in 2019 and there are still hurdles to get over for this bout to get over the line. These include Nawaphon being able to travel to France in time for the bout. Typically this wouldn't be a problem, but France recently closed their borders to those outside of the European Space, unless you have an "imperative reason", and those within the European space will need a negative PCR test within 72 hours to enter France. It's currently unclear whether Nawaphon would be able to enter France for the bout.
If the bout does go ahead it will be Oubaali's third defense since winning the title in January 2019, and it will be Nawaphon's second shot at a title, previously losing to Juan Hernandez in a WBC Flyweight title bout.
Since his loss Nawaphon has won 14 in a row, including some decent wins against Amnat Ruenroeng, Richard Calveras, Sonny Boy Jaro and Ryan Lumacad, which are pretty much his best career wins. Sadly however a bout with Oubaali would still be a huge step up in class for him.
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