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.
Tomorrow on a Tantelecom Promotion show in Thailand we'll get the chance to see novice professional Thitisak Hoithong (0-0) [เก่ง แทนเทเลคอม] take on former world title challenger Wittawas Basapean (34-14-1, 12) [วิทวัส บาซาเปียน] aka Samartlek Kokietgym, in a real baptism of fire of Thitisak.
Although we have been informed that Thitisak was a solid amateur it does appear that this will be his professional debut and comes in against a man who has fought both Naoya Inoue and Akira Yaegashi, and took both men deep into the bout before eventually being stopped by both.
Tomorrow's bout between the two men will be held as the chief support bout of the Tantelecom Promotions show and will take place at Flyweight.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in and both men came in bang on the Flyweight limit, weighing in at 112lbs each. On the scales the novice looked the man in the slightly better shape, but there wasn't much between the two men, who will both be looking to move their career forward tomorrow.
For fans wanting to watch this it will be shown live on the Tantelecom facebook page.
(Image courtesy of Tantelecom)
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