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 year we saw long reigning WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin (54-1, 18) [วันเฮง มีนะโยธิน], aka Chayaphon Moonsri, suffer an upset loss to Petchmanee CP Freshmart (35-1, 22), aka Panya Pradabsri, in what was a really exciting, competitive and compelling contest.
Since that loss Wanheng has been fairly inconspicuous and not much has been reported on him in Thailand.
That was until today when Komthai, previously known as Thairec, reported an update on the former champion.
Wanheng has revealed that he is working for his father's food shop, with his father selling food in Prawet district.
In regards to boxing, a return to the ring is still unclear for the Thai. He told reporters that he was unsure whether he was coming back, but seemed to suggest Covid19 in the country had to be gone before he would returning. He's also not in fighting shape, and hasn't been training. However his medical issues, including an issue with his eye sight and nasal cavity, are sad to have been completely healed and no longer a problem. Although it's unclear where he would box again or not, it was reported that he may well become a boxing trainer in the future, and may end up doing that outside of Thailand.
Whilst sadly there is still a lack of clarity in what is happening, it's nice to know that Wanheng is seemingly happy helping his father and and is still open to a return to the ring. It might happen, but if not, it's hard to deny that he's one of the most important Thai's to the sport in recent years.
Fingers crossed that if we have seen the end of him as a fighter, that he will get the chance to pass on his boxing knowledge to the next generation.
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
Tomorrow we'll see the much anticipated WBC Minimumweight title bout between Wanheng Menayothin (54-0, 18) [วันเฮง มีนะโยธิน], aka Chayaphon Moonsri, and Petchmanee CP Freshmart (34-1, 22), aka Panya Pradabsri.
The bout will be the 13th defense for the unbeaten champion who will be looking to extend his unbeaten record to 55-0 and become the first 35 year old to defend the WBC Minimumweight title. It will also be Panya's first world title bout, and his most significant bout since his 2017 loss in China to Xiong Zhao Zhong, and the 13th time two Thai's have clashed in a world title bout.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the contest and both men have successfully made weight for the contest.
On the scales Wanheng had no issues at all, coming in at 104.7lbs for the contest, comfortably under the 105lb Minimumweight limit. At the weigh in he looked in good shape, though he did appear slightly gaunt around the face and shoulders. Though in saying that he does have a boney face and it's possible that the weight loss just amplified his facial structure rather than him actually being drained. Incidentally his goatee, which had made some waves on social media, has now been removed.
Panya on the other hand did struggle somewhat, coming in over weight on his first visit to the scales, at around 105.2lbs. He then went on to remove his underwear and managed to make the limit dead on. Like the champion he looked in good shape, and we don't think he really struggled as much as the stripping naked would suggest, and would actually go as far as to assume it was a minor blip rather than a real struggle.
For those interested in watching this bout it will be shown on Channel 7 HD in Thailand, with a time slot between 13:45 and 15:45 local time. It's also expected that the Petchyindee Kingdom facebook page will how the bout.
Related - Wanheng and Panya clash in 13th Bloodline Battle (Preview)
The Thai Bloodline Battles (A look at the history of the Bloodline Battles)
(Image credit - Petchyindee)
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