Earlier this week Petchyindee Gym announced the next defenses for their two Minimumweight world champions, and both bouts are genuinely excellent ones.
The bigger of the two bouts will see WBA "super" champion Knockout CP Freshmart (23-0, 9) defending his title against former long term WBC champion Wanheng Menayothin (55-2-0-1, 19), with the bout set for July 20th in Chonburi.
This is a bout many called for when both fighters were unbeaten world champions, and although it's now come when Wanheng has lost the WBC title, it's fair to say that many who have seen his two losses, both to Panya Pradabsri, will feel he should still be unbeaten, with both of those losses being close, controversial and somewhat harsh on Wanheng.
For Wanheng the bout will be his first since a strange no contest back in May against Jinnawat Rienpit, and he will be looking for his first win since last November, when he stopped Rienpit in 3 rounds. As for Knockout the bout will be his first since stopping Robert Paradrro last December, in what was a very fun 5 round shoot out.
The other bout announced will see the aforementioned Panya Pradabsri (38-1, 23), aka Petchmanee Kokietgym, defending his WBC title against former OPBF Minimumweight champion Tsubasa Koura (15-2, 10) [小浦 翼], who is looking to bounce back from a recent loss to Yudai Shigeoka. This bout will take place on August 31st , and will be Panya's third defense of the title whilst Koura will be getting his first world title bout.
Tomorrow Thailand will play host to a major rematch at 105lbs, as former WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin (55-1, 19) [วันเฮง มีนะโยธิน], aka Chayaphon Moonsri, looks to reclaime the title he lost in 2020 to fellow Thai Petchmanee CP Freshmart (37-1, 23), aka Panya Pradabsri.
Today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in for that much anticipated rematch, which was originally scheduled for January before being delayed and delayed again.
On the scales today the champion, who weighed in first, was bang on the 105lb limit, and he looked in genuinely incredible shape, looking ripped and ready to go. The challenger then took to the scales, and came in comfortably under the limit, at 104.5lbs, whilst also looking in fantastic shape.
As well as making weight the two men also took part in a physical examination, and both passed that without any issues at all.
For those wanting to watch this rematch between the two men, who put on an instant classic in late 2020, the bout will be aired from 6PM local time on Thai TV channel True4U.
Related -Panya and Wanheng clash again for WBC crown!
(Image courtesy if Muaydee 789/Komthai)
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.
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