Yesterday TL Boxing Promotions, the company who put on "The Fighter" series, announced their next show would take place on August 29th at Suamlum Night Bazaar, Ratchadaphisek, Bangkok.
Whilst they didn't announce all the bouts on that show they did announce the main event, which will be a WBA Asia South Featherweight title bout.
That title bout will see unbeaten champion Arnon Yupang (5-0, 2) make his first defense as he takes on the debuting Nonthasith Petchnamthong (0-0), who Muay Thai fans may know as Prachanchay PK Saenchaimuaythai.
The 23 year old Arnon won the title in July, when he beat Inthanon Sithchamuang, and despite being a regional title holder already he has only been a professional since late last year, making his debut in November. He began his career with 4 wins in the space of around 7 weeks in "The Fighter" before his career best win against Inthanon.
Sadly we really don't know much about his opponent, though we have been informed he is an experienced Muay Thai fighter, and is actually close friends with Arnon. Whether that means the two will be nice or look to show who is the better fighter is unclear.
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.
It's been a strange few years for boxing in Thailand. The country has had a trio of top tier fighters, in the form of WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin (54-0, 18) [วันเฮง ไก่ย่างห้าดาวยิม], WBA Minimumweight champion Knockout CP Freshmart (20-0, 7) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท and 2-time WBC Super Flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (47-5-1, 41) [ศรีสะเกษ นครหลวงโปรโมชั่น]. Other than those three however the country hasn't really come close to developing their next star, at least there is no clear "next star" emerging despite some promising prospects.
What is good however is the fact that it seems we are back to getting regular televised boxing, after what was a frustrating 2019.
In 2019 the WP Boxing series was the real shining light in Thailand, and one of the few areas where we saw competitive action. Channel 7 seemed to stamp some form of quality on the shows they were broadcasting, and at one point seemed unwilling to show anything other than world title bouts, and until rather late in the year it seemed like a really poor year right across the board for boxing in Thailand.
The lack of televised dates meant that the prospects were having their knees essentially cut out underneath them, and lacking the chance to get fights and exposure. This was a by product of years of mismatches and pointless fights filling up TV shows, rather anything else. The shows were, for the most part, crap, with an occasionally decent headline.
Thankfully it wasn't just the WP Boxing shows that proved to be interesting, with the TL Boxing Promotions series "The Fighter", which were small tournaments, were also a real treat. The tournaments were short, but engaging, east to follow, posted online and kept very simple. They were a real fun thing to follow, and showed that TL had high quality productions, despite lacking in terms of name fighters.
It's now been reported that TL Boxing Promotions have rolled the success of their "The Fighter" into a full committed TV deal with Thairath, also known as channel 32 in Thailand.
The deal commences on March 1st with their first show, and will then take place on the last Saturday of the month at 4PM local time. This is later than usual for a Thai show, potentially giving the fighters a chance to get more exposure, and is fantastic news for Thai fans for TL Boxing Promotions.
It seems the promoter not only has this deal on their mind, but also the bigger picture, with plans to develop fighters skills through the year and moving towards world title fights in the future.
(Credits The Fighter Thaila nd / Komthai.com)
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