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.
Earlier today we got huge news from Thailand in regards to WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin (54-0, 18) [วันเฮง มีนะโยธิน], aka Chayaphon Moonsri, as his team announced his next defense of the Gold and Green belt.
The unbeaten champion, who not only sports a very good looking 54-0 record but is also the longest reigning active world champion, having held his title since November 2014. During that lengthy reign he has massed 12 defenses of the belt, the most for that particular title since Ricarod Lopez made 21 defenses in the 1990's.
The announcement regarding Wanheng is that he will return to the ring on November 27th to defend his belt against fellow Thai Petchmanee CP Freshmart (34-1, 22), aka Panya Pradabsri, who recently dropped down to Minimumweight to chase a world title shot at 105lbs.
Interestingly both men were in action this past Friday at the Rangsit International Stadium. The show there saw Petchmanee pick up the WBC Asian Boxing Council Minimumweight title, with a win over Wichet Sengprakhon, who retired in his corner. On the same broadcast Wanheng shared the ring for a short televised spar with WBA world champion Knockout CP Freshmart (21-0, 7) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท].
At the moment there is no confirmed venue for the bout, though it will be taking place, unsurprisingly, in Thailand.
For Wanheng this will be his 55th professional and his 13th title defense, and will be taking place when he's 35 year's old, ancient for a Minimumweight. During his long reign he has beaten the likes of Simpiwe Konkco, Tatsuya Fukuhara, Pedro Taduran, Melvin Jerusalem and Saul Juarez, but does lack a legitmate career defining win.
For the challenger this will be his second major bout, following a close loss in China to Xiong Zhao Zhong back in 2017. That loss was in a WBA International title fight, which lead to Zhong facing Knockout CP Freshmart for the WBA world title soon after. Since that loss he has picked up 16 straight wins, though his opposition has been a mix of low level foes, the best of which being the likes of Dexter Alimento, Robert Onggocan and Jerry Tomogdan. Despite his poor competition he has been knocking on the door of a world title fight, chasing a shot at Minimumweight, Light Flyweight and Flyweight.
The promoters behind the show have requested permission from the WBC to allow all the officials to be Thai's, given the on going global situation, and it appears they have been given the green light for that to happen.
To the best of our knowledge this will be the 14th time two Thai's have faced off in a world title bout and the first since November 5th 2010, when Kwanthai Sithmorseng beat Pigmy Kokietgym for the WBA Minimumweight.
Amazingly this appears to be the first time Wanheng has ever faced a Thai in professional, though he has twice faced Thai based fighters who were from abroad.
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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.
Tomorrow we see the attention of the boxing world turn to Thailand for one of the most notable all-Thai fights in recent memory, as former world champions Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (47-5-1, 41) [ศรีสะเกษ นครหลวงโปรโมชั่น] and Amnat Ruenroeng (20-3, 6) [อำนาจ รื่นเริง] face off in the Work Point Studio in Bang Phun.
Despite the bout being a much anticipated one, so much so that it will be shown in Latin America as part of the ESPN Knock0ut series and in the UK, by Matchroom Sport, the actual contest is seen as a bit of a mismatch.
The UK have Srisaket priced as a 1/12 favourite to win the contest and move towards another world title bout. The 2-time WBC Super Flyweight champion has made it clear he's wanting to become a 3-time world champion and this bout should help him shake some ring rust ahead of another big fight in the near future.
Amnat, who turns 41 in December, is a huge 9/1 to score the upset and revive his career. The veteran has struggled since losing the IBF Flyweight title to John Riel Casimero in 2016 and has lost 2 of his last 4 pro bouts, as well as losing in a kick boxing bout to Teshin Nasukawa and an amateur boxing bout, at the 2016 Olympics.
The draw is available at 28/1, though is more widely available at 22/1.
Not only is Srisaket expected to win but he's actually expected to stop the Thai, with odds of 2/5 for Srisaket to score the stoppage and end the bout inside the distance. The former Super Flyweight champion is 5/2 to take a decision. As for Amnat backers he's 14/1 to take a decision and a huge 22/1 to score a stoppage.
Given the odds on a stoppage it's worth noting the bout is 1/3 to not go the distance and 2/1 to go to the final bell.
Earlier today fight fans tuning into Thairath for the return of western boxing to Thailand saw two notable bouts taking place, each featuring a bright hopeful for the Thai boxing scene.
The first of those was 22 year old hopeful Arnon Yupang (5-0, 2), who took a career best win by stopping veteran Inthanon Sithchamuang (31-14-1, 19) in the 4th round. On paper this was a big step up for Yupang, though the reality is that Inthanon was fighting well above his natural weight and looked much smaller than his younger, stronger foe. Yupang dropped Inthanon 3 times in round 4 to claim the victory, and the WBA Asia South Featherweight title.
Following Yupang's win we then saw the touted Phoobadin Yoohanngoh (9-0, 5) [แสงอาทิตย์ ลูกทรายกองดิน] claimed his most important win to date, out pointing Muay Thai fighter - turned boxer, Kulabdam Sor Jor Piekuthai (2-2, 1)[กุหลาบดำ สจ.เปี๊ยกอุทัย] over 10 rounds. This was a genuinely good, solid fight that saw both men have their moments.
Early on Phoobadin looked really smart and controlling the tempo and range of the fight well with his footwork, movement, and counter punching. Although he never seemed to badly hurt Kulabdam he did land the cleaner punches and found a home for his straight right hand. In the middle rounds however Kulabdam began to close the distance and upped his work rate, took more risks and forced a fight with the youngster. The pace suddenly got more exciting, but Kulabdam struggled to build on the success and keep the tempo up as both men began to tire.
At the end of 10 rounds it seemed close, but a fair win for Phoobadin who got the decision and became the new WBA Asia Light Welterweight champion.
Sadly at the time of writing scores haven't been made available.
Although the bout wasn't an all out war it as a very entertaining contest and a very good win for the teenager who is legitimately becoming a very, very good boxer. He's intelligent beyond his years, surprisingly strong, and quickly developing into one of the hottest young talents in Thailand. At the moment we wouldn't push him beyond this level too quickly, he needs more seasoning and time, but he is a very, very promising youngster and one to keep a very serious eye on.
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