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.
Earlier today in Thailand we had the chance to see an interesting show from TL Promotions, with the show being aired on Thairath and the social media accounts of TL Promotions themselves.
The first of two notable bouts on the card saw former Thai amateur standout Tanes Ongjunta (8-1, 4) [จอมโว ก.ศักดิ์ลำพูน] pick up his biggest win to date, and the WBA Asia Flyweight title, as he over-came former world champion Kompayak TC Muay Thai (61-12, 41), [คมพยัคฆ์ ทีซีมวยไทย].
The bout took an expected pattern early on, and never really changed too much.
From the off the tactics were clear. Kompayak was going to bring the pressure. A lot of pressure. Tanes on the other hand had to box and move, using his youth, his speed and his natural size advantages to neutralise the pressure of the aging veteran. Early on this worked fine on Ongjunta who looked the more complete fighter and picked his moments well. He was on the backfoot, but never particularly uncomfortable as he used his boxing skills well.
As the rounds by the pressure did lessen a bit, with Kompayak unable to keep the pace up, which was hardly a surprise given his age and we've seen him in recent bouts, but he was always game and never backed off. He was always trying to make Tanes work, and Tanes always had to keep focused on the task at hand.
After 10 rounds we went to the scorecards and there was no questioning the decision, with Ongjunta taking the victory. It was, pretty much, what was expected with Kompayak playing his part and giving Tanes a good, solid test.
Following the win for Tanes we moved on to the main event, which saw 17 year old Light Welterweight prospect Phoobadin Yoohanngoh (11-0, 6) [แสงอาทิตย์ ลูกทรายกองดิน], aka Sangarthit Looksaikongdin, make his second defense of the WBA Asia Light Welterweight title. He was up against former world title challenger Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo (61-8, 41) [ชลธาร อ.พิริยะภิญโญ], aka Suriya Tatakhun, who had previously taken both Chris John and Vasiliy Lomachenko the 12 round distance.
Early on the naturally bigger Phoobadin took his time, used his jab and younger legs to control the range and tempo of the bout, and kept Chonlatarn at a comfortable range. It was a simple, straight forward start for the teenager, who looked like a genuinely experienced fighter in the early going. As the rounds went on Phoobadin began to pick up the pace more, and in rounds 4 and 5 he started to really beat up the veteran who was looking dejected and like a beaten man. He was brave but crumbling, both mentally and physically. It seemed like the ending was nigh.
To his credit Chonlatarn really did tough things out longer than expected and wasn't dropped until round 7, when the pressure, and clean punches of the talented teen sent him to the canvas for the first time. It seemed he was unsure if he wanted to get back up, but did so, quite gingerly. No one would have blamed him for staying down. The very next round he was down for the second time. This time the referee took the decision to call a halt to the bout, saving Chonlatarn from further punishment.
For Phoobadin this was performance that showed he has got a very mature head on his shoulders. He took his time, he broke his man down, and he didn't take too many risks. It was polished, but it was also a safe opponent with Chonlatarn being much smaller, older, and battle worn.
Sadly for Phoobadin it's unclear now what he can really do. He can stay in Thailand, and meander along without getting the developmental fights his talent deserves, or, we dare say, he needs to get his passport out when the pandemic finally ends and travels over to Europe or the US, and works with one of their promoters to develop his skills and his reputation in the sport. There simply isn't enough talent in the region to develop him fully, even if his team do manage to bring in fighters from the Philippines, Australia and Tanzania, we've seen in the past. He's an exceptionally talented young man, and hopefully geography won't be the bottleneck in his career.
Tomorrow in Thailand we'll see the next show from TL Promotions, who look to show case two of their most exciting hopefuls.
One of those hopefuls is 17 year old Light Welterweight prospect Phoobadin Yoohanngoh (10-0, 5) [แสงอาทิตย์ ลูกทรายกองดิน], aka Sangarthit Looksaikongdin, who will make his second defense of the WBA Asia Light Welterweight title as he takes on former world title challenger Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo (61-7, 41) [ชลธาร อ.พิริยะภิญโญ], aka Suriya Tatakhun.
On paper this is a big step up for Phoobadin, given that Chonlatarn has fought for world titles and shared the ring with the likes of Vasiliy Lomachenko and Chris John, but the unbeaten teenager is the much bigger, younger, fresher, stronger man, and should have too much for the veteran,
The other bout will see Tanes Ongjunta (7-1, 4) [จอมโว ก.ศักดิ์ลำพูน] battle against former world champion Kompayak TC Muay Thai (61-11, 41), [คมพยัคฆ์ ทีซีมวยไทย], aka Kompayak Porpramook or Suriyan Satorn.
Tanes, just like Phoobadin, is a novice compared to his opponent but like Phoobadin he's the younger, fresher and naturally bigger man.
Today the 4 men took part in their weigh in for their bouts and although we weren't given the specific weights it has been reported that all 4 men made weight for the contests. Despite all 4 making weight it should be noted that the veterans were dwarfed by the novices. Phoobadin really did tower over Chonlatarn, though that's not a surprise given that Chonlatarn is a natural Featherweight. Saying that however we were surprised to see Tanes look so much bigger than Kompayak, who looked like a child in comparison to his foe.
For fans wanting to watch this bout it will be aired from 16:00 to 18:00 on Thairath, which is Thai TV channel 32, and will also be streamed live on Facebook and YouTube, though the promoter's pages.
(Image courtesy of The Fighter Thailand)
Earlier today Thai promotional outfit TL Promotions announced their next show under the "The Fighter" banner and it's an interesting double header, with two young and emerging talent battling against veterans of the Thai scene. It's not a massive card, by any stretch, but it's an interesting one, and one that will be available to view, for free.
The main event will see 17 year old sensation Phoobadin Yoohanngoh (10-0, 5) [แสงอาทิตย์ ลูกทรายกองดิน], aka Sangarthit Looksaikongdin, defending his WBA Asia Light Welterweight title against former world title challenger Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo (61-7, 41) [ชลธาร อ.พิริยะภิญโญ], aka Suriya Tatakhun.
Despite making his debut back in 2018, as a 14 year old, we really saw Phoobadin announce himself as one to watch in 2020. He impressed in July, when he beat Muay Thai stand out Kulabdam Sor.Jor.Piek-U-Thai, to win the WBA Asia title, and then stopped the talented Atchariya Wirojanasunobol a few months later to record his first defense. Those wins, as well as some training clips from Thailand, saw Phoobadin's profile sky rocket, and he is now on the verge of becoming one of the most notable fighters in Thailand.
Chonlatarn on the other hand is a proper veteran. The 36 year old has been a professional since 2003 and has faced some genuinely big names during his 68 fight career. Fans who recognise his name will likely be aware that he has shared the ring with the likes of Yoddamrong Sithyodthong, Chris John, Vasyl Lomachenko and Miguel Berchelt. Sadly though he was schooled by "Loma" and blasted by Berchelt, and since then he aged, and is naturally a tiny fighter at 140lbs. In theory his experience should see him asking some questions of Phoobadin, but we suspect he'll get stopped by the younger, bigger man.
The other bout announced for the show will see Tanes Ongjunta (7-1, 4) [จอมโว ก.ศักดิ์ลำพูน] battle against Kompayak TC Muay Thai (61-11, 41), [คมพยัคฆ์ ทีซีมวยไทย], aka Kompayak Porpramook or Suriyan Satorn, with this bout being for the WBA Asia Flyweight title.
The once beaten Ongjunta is a 28 year old who was a solid amateur before beginning his professional careeer in 2019. After winning his irst 4 bouts he was upset by unheralded Filipino Adrian Lerasan in March 2020, though has bounced back with 3 straight wins and got his career back on track.
Kompayak on the other hand is grizzled veteran, who is now 38 years old and made his debut all the way back in 2000. At his best he was world class, and did actually hold the WBC Light Flyweight following an amazing win over Adrian Hernandez in 2011. Sadly his reign was a short one and now a days he has become something of a domestic gate keeper picking up losses against the likes of Nonthasith Petchnamthong and Phongsaphon Panyakum last year. Despite picking up losses, losing 6 of his last 8, he always comes to fight and should make for an entertaining bout here, even if he does come up short.
For fans wanting to watch this show, it will be aired live on Thairath and on Facebook, though either the TL Promotions page or "The Fighter" page.
With the year now over we're going to slowly be putting out our awards over the coming days. To start with we're going to go with the Prospect of the Year award, and there a lot of fighters considered here, from right across Asia.
We had fighters like Rentaro Kimura, Ryosuke Nishida, Tursynbay Kulakhmet, Kamshybek Kunkabayev, Jin Sasaki, Odiljon Aslonov and Sung Min Yuh all in the running for what they've done in the past 12 months.
In the end however we thought "which prospect has got us to the point where we are more excited about their future than any other fighter, due to what they have done in 2020?"
When we asked ourselves that question the answer suddenly became quite easy, and that was Phoobadin Yoohanngoh (10-0, 5).
The 16 year old Thai went into 2020 with an 8-0 (4) record, and the reality was that he hadn't actually faced anyone. He had won TL's promotion's rather low key "The Fighter" tournament in 2019, but other than that, and being super young nothing was too notable about him. By the end of 2020 however he had become the youngest fighter to ever claim a WBA regional title, at the age of 16, and he had impressed in different ways in his two bouts.
His first bout of the year, in July, saw him out point Kulabdam Sor Jor Piekuthai over 10 rounds, proving his stamina, his mental attitude, his composure and and his boxing skills. It was an excellent boxing performance.
In his second bout of the year he again showed composure, showed he could cope with pressure and box. But he also showed killer instinct, and after figuring out Atchariya Wirojanasunobol over the first 3 rounds, he completely dismantled him in round 6, showing a much more destructive side to his boxing.
Fighting at 140lbs Phoobadin looks like he has everything need to develop into a genuine world class contender. He's not a Thai feasting on scraps to make his name, but is someone who is impressing against decent fighters, showing a lot to his boxing and is still only 16 years old. Sure there is a very real chance his promoters rush him, and push him, and he slips up in the next year or two, like other Thai youngsters, but there is also a chance that TL Promotions hold back on him a little, get him decent competition and, in 2024 for example, get him into the world rankings with 20 or so bouts behind him and move him towards a big title fight.
In 2020 this youngster proved he was an absolute prodigy and is, in our eyes, the deserving prospect of the year, and one of the most exciting youngsters in the sport today.
2019 - Sadriddin Akhmedov.
2018 - Ulugbek Sobirov
2016 - Hinata Maruta
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