Yesterday in Thailand there was an interesting show in Rangsit, which was aired on TV channel True4U. The card was certainly not a massive one, but was certainly one worthy of note with a world champion on it, an interesting regional title bout and a man tipped as one to watch, all featuring on the event,
The show kicked off with WBC Minimumweight champion Petchmanee CP Freshmart (36-1, 23), aka Panya Pradabsri, picking up his first win since becoming a world champion late last year. The talented Thai was in a stay busy fight against an over-matched, and very young looking, local fighter. The local youngster put up a brave effort but was stopped in 4 rounds as the world champion slowly went through the gears and shook off some ring rust.
The second bout was a much more interesting contest as Phetmorakot Petchyindee Academy (2-0), who is listed on boxrec as Phetmorakot Wor Sangpraphai or Nopphadon Darunphan, picked up a decision win against Elias Klopp (0-1)*. The talented Phetmorakot has made a name for himself in Muay Thai, where he has won various titles and is regarded as one of the best in the sport. He won this one pretty clearly, though Klopp proved his toughness and managed to fight back in what was an entertaining back and forth bout.
Whilst the strong Muay Thai background makes Phetmorakot one to watch straight away he's also a notable "big guy" for a Thai, and is fighting at Light Middleweight, a division not typically associated with Thai fighters.
In the main event of the show fans saw Kongfah CP Freshmart (36-1-1, 18) defeat Thai veteran Wittawas Basapean (34-16-1, 12), aka Samartlek Kokietgym, in a very fan friendly 10 round bout for a regional WBC title at Super Flyweight. On paper this looked like a mismatch, and in fairness the result was never in doubt with Kongfah easily taking the rounds to secure the decision. Despite that Samartlek was always throwing shots back and managed to put up a great effort in a clear decision loss. From the off this was a highly entertaining bout and one of the best bouts so far this year in Thailand.
As a result of this win Kongfah is now 22-0-1 (10) since his 2015 loss to Daigo Higa for the WBC Youth Flyweight title. As for Samartlek this is a 7th straight loss, but he has continued to prove his value to Thai boxing and whether he wins or loses he always puts up a legitimate effort and comes to fight. Sadly though he is a long way from his prime, which saw him challenge both Naoya Inoue and Akira Yaegashi for world titles, back in 2014 and 2016 respectively.
*Klopp's record is unknown but it's assumed this was his boxing debut at the time of writing.
Earlier today news broke from Thailand regarding the future of former WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin (54-1, 18) [วันเฮง มีนะโยธิน], aka Chayaphon Moonsri, and the plan his promoter has for him for this year.
The plan for Wanheng is to have him fight at some point in Spring, in what will be a tune up bout of some kind, before getting a rematch with Petchmanee CP Freshmart (35-1, 22), aka Panya Pradabsri, the man who dethroned Wanheng last year.
At the moment the details regarding Wanheng's next bout are unclear, though it is known that Petchmanee will be fighting in a stay busy bout himself on March 6th, at the Rangsit Boxing Stadium, with that bout being aired on True4U in Thailand. It appears that Wanehg's bout will be announced sometime after that bout, and will essentially serve the purpose of getting him in the ring, shaking whatever ring rust he might have and then beginning his preparation for the rematch.
Interestingly Petchmanee's stay busy bout will take place well above the 105lb Minimumweight limit. In fact our understanding is that that bout will be at 111lbs. It's clear that Panya isn't expected to be tested too much here, but it is good to see him staying busy before the huge rematch.
As for the the rematch, that's expected to come "in the middle of the year".
Earlier today news broke from Thailand that former WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin (54-1, 18) [วันเฮง มีนะโยธิน], aka Chayaphon Moonsri, was not set for retirement any time soon, and was actually going to begin preparing for a ring return shortly.
The former world champion has recently been working with his father at a Pad Thai food shop, and last week it was assumed by some in the Thai press that the move was the start of the end of Wanheng's boxing career. Instead however it's now been stated that opening the shop with his father was his father's dream, and something Wanheng himself wanted to do, but was not the end of his boxing career.
It was also reported today that Wanheng will reveal some information later this month regarding his return to camp, with a fitness camp expected to begin shortly. The longer term plan seems to be a rematch with Petchmanee CP Freshmart (31-1, 22), aka Panya Pradabsri, who beat him last November.
A member of Wanheng's team stated that the news maybe confusing, given recent statements in the Thai press about Wanheng retiring, though went on to state that Wanheng hasn't spoken to a reported about his future and that he has not thought about hanging them up.
Interestingly the Thai sources have also reported that the WBC has ordered a rematch between Wanheng and Panya, giving Wanheng a chance to reclaim his title.
Whilst Wanheng's future is unclear, it does seem reminiscent of last year's fiasco with the then champion, who announced his retirement over social media before retracting his retirement after speaking to his team. We do have to wonder whether he really wants to continue in the sport or not, though his performance against Panya last year suggested there was still hunger in his belly, and whilst he might have wanted to walk away, there was still desire to prove his ability and to not lose.
Last November we saw long reigning WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin (54-1, 18) [วันเฮง มีนะโยธิน], aka Chayaphon Moonsri, lose his title in an upset loss to Petchmanee CP Freshmart (35-1, 22), aka Panya Pradabsri. Following that title win Panya has been quiet, and there's been little said about what's next for him, as Thailand continues to try and stay on top of the Covid19 situation.
Today however Panya's team have spoken about what's next for him, and it's going to be a fight in March, however it will not be his first title defense.
According to the excellent Komthai, a brilliant site for Thai boxing news, Panya will be back in action in a warm up bout on March 6th, with the bout being helped at a contracted 117lbs, well above his usual fighting weight. The opponent will be a fellow Thai with the bout being scheduled for 6 rounds.
Whilst Panya will certainly be a major draw for the show he isn't the only notable name on the event. Another noteworthy fighter on the show will be Kongfah CP freshmart (35-1-1, 18), aka Jakkrawut Majoogoen, who we believe will be facing off with Wittawas Basapean (34-15-1, 12) [วิทวัส บาซาเปียน] aka Samartlek Kokietgym WBC Asia Super Flyweight title. Although not the big bout for international fans, this is a genuinely interesting match up, and should be an entertaining one, given the styles of the two men involved.
The show will be aired on on TV channel True4U and will take place between 18:00 and 20:00 local time, with the event being held in Pathum Thani province, in Thailand.
It’s fair to say that 2020 was a year of surprises, both in terms of boxing and life in general, afterall did anyone predict a pandemic heading into the year? For us the surprises came regularly through the year, and came at every in the sport. From domestic level, with prospects being shocked, national titles changing hands even world level shocks.
Due to the sheer number of upsets we had in Asian Boxing in 2020 it’s genuinely been hard to pick one as the upset of the year. Do we go with the biggest in terms of the betting? Do we go with the result that was the biggest surprise to us or do we try to find some middle line?
Rather than trying to define an upset we’ve come up with a compromise and we will be having joint winners here, with one for the biggest betting upset that we saw, and one for the biggest surprise result that we saw. That surprise result really was one out of the blue, that we certainly didn’t expect.
The betting upset of the year came on November 27th in Thailand as unheralded Thai Panya Pradabsri, also known as Petchmanee CP Freshmart, took on countryman Wanheng Menayothin, the long running WBC Minimumweight champion.
The bookies opened this one with Wanheng almost an unbackable favourite, with the champion opening at 1/10 with STSbet and later being 1/12 with several UK bookies. He was seen as being well on the way to his 55th straight and his 13th title defense before the two men stepped foot in the ring. Panya on the other hand opened at 6/1 to score the upset.
By fight time money had poured on the challenger, who had been backed into around 3/1, and he would then go on to take a very close and hard fought decision over Wanheng, leading to some nice wins for bettors.
Panya’s upset win was the biggest with widely available odds, however there was one bigger upset in Asia, and that was Daishi Nagata’s shock win over Koki Inoue in July. Nagata entered that bout an 8/1 under-dog against Inoue, before forcing a stoppage win. Sadly only STS had odds on this one, and it really wasn’t one that most could bet on, but was, admittedly, a massive surprise result
Other similar upsets scored by Asian fighters include:
Masayoshi Nakatani upsetting Felix Verdajo - With Nakatani starting as a 6/1 under-dog
Akui Furutani upsetting Takayuki Okumoto - With Furatani a 9/2 under-dog
Mike Plania upsetting Joshua Greer Jr - With Plania a 4/1 under-dog
Kenichi Horikawa upsetting Daiki Tomita - With Horikawa a 7/2 under-dog
Upset scored against an Asian fighter by a non-Asian:
Carlos Gongora upsetting Ali Akhmedov - With Gongora starting as a 7/1 under-dog
With just a single win in a decade the 36 year old Yuichi Ideta wasn’t even expected to put up much of a fight on December 27th when he battled former Japanese Welterweight champion Ryota Yada. Ideta had fallen from 12-0 (7) to 13-15-1 (7) and had lost 11 in a row and had been stopped 5 times during his career. Whilst some of those losses weren’t embarrassing ones, such as losses to Keita Obara and Nobuyuki Shindo, he had lost to some very limited fighters, like Ryota Itoyama, Quaye Peter and Ryuji Ikeda.
Amazingly with the deck stacked against him, and no one really giving him a chance Ideta out worked, out fought, outmuscled and out landed Yada to take home the decision win.
This genuinely was the biggest shock to us for the entire year, and was the first decision loss for Yada since 2014, in what was his 6th bout.
Similar upsets to this one include:
Juan Carlos Raygosa defeating Dauren Yeleussinov
Adrian Lerasan beating Tanes Ongjunta
Jeny Boy Boca beating Sarawut Thawornkham
Ryosuke Nishida beating Shohei Omori
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