Boxing can, and is, often full of hyperbole, and trying to build a fighter's reputation and name quickly to grab attention, whether the fighter deserves it or not. For every sensational prospect, like Naoya Inoue or Kosei Tanaka we've seen a flop who failed to cut it for whatever reason, such as Stamp Kiatniwat or Marvin Sonsona.
With that in mind we need to be cautious when raving about young prospects. However 16 year old Thai Phoobadin Yoohanngoh (10-0, 5) is making it really hard to not get over-excited. That is particularly true after what we saw him do earlier today Suamlum Night Bazaar, on a TL Promoted event shown live on Thairath. In fact what we saw from Phoobadin today makes it impossible not to suggest that Thailand have a genuine future champion making his name.
The unbeaten teenager, who turns 17 in January, was up against the unbeaten Atchariya Wirojanasunobol (13-1, 5) earlier today, with Phoobadin looking to defend his WBA Asia Light Welterweight title for the first time.
Coming in to this it looked like a real test for the teenager. After all Atchariya was a highly touted fighter himself until he ended up being arrested on drugs charges, which were later dropped. He had looked good in his in ring return earlier this year and was once tipped for big things. Whilst he was potentially on the slide he was still only 31 and was very much a fighter with a point to prove.
In the opening round Atchariya pressed the action, he was the one coming forward, but that was at some expense as Phoobadin began to read him, counter him with big single rights hands and mentally crack Atchariya. The pressure from the challenger continued in rounds 2 and 3, but round by round Phoobadin was building his success, growing into the fight, and slowly starting to make Atchariya apprehensive. The right hand counters were eye catching, the body shots were subtle, and the movement was smart. Phoobadin was slowly taking the fight out of Atchariya without putting a lot of effort into things.
By round 5 Atchariya was slowing to the point where looked unsure of himself. He seemed to realise that when he threw he was going to get countered. Not only was he becoming less willing to throw shows but Phoobadin was beginning to open up more himself, ending the round with a good flurry.
It seemed like Phoobadin was happy to out box Atchariya, fight a slow, deliberate bout, and take control slowly. Relying on his boxing and speed rather than anything else. Then everything changed as Phoobadin let his shots go, and landed a shot around the ear that seemed to totally take the legs away from Atchariya, who wobbled. A following wobbled him again, before he hit the canvas for the first knockdown. He got to his feet without any problems but Phoobadin smelled blood and went in for the kill, scoring a second knockdown and then a third forcing Atchariya's corner to come in to the ring before he got back up.
Despite fighting at a very slow tempo for 4 and a bit rounds Phoobadin impressed here. He showed he could box, he could get a read on an opponent, he could counter and then, when the time came for it, he could turn up the pace, put his foot on the gas and force a finish. This was a very, very complete performance for a 16 year old who will know there is pressure on his shoulders but seems very comfortable with that pressure and seems to be getting better fight after fight.
Tomorrow in Thailand we'll see a really interesting WBA Asia title bout at 140lbs as 16 year old champion Phoobadin Yoohanngoh (9-0, 5) [แสงอาทิตย์ ลูกทรายกองดิน] takes on fellow unbeaten Atchariya Wirojanasunobol (13-0, 5) [อัจฉริยะ อำนาจมวยไทยยิม] on the latest episode of "The Fighter", promoted by TL Promotions and shown on Thairath.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the bout and both men made the 140lb limit, although they did so in different fashions.
The 31 year old Atchariya made weight first time, coming in under the limit at 139.8lbs. For him him this will be just the second bout for more than 2 years, after being arrested on drugs charges at an airport on route to a fight in Japan, against Andy Hiraoka. Those charges collapsed this year, but by then he had already all momentum in his career, his rankings, and had been out of the ring for well over a year by the time of his release. He is now looking to get his career back on track, and looked decent last time out, when he took a clear decision win over Kaewfah Tor Buamas in September. That was his first bout in over 2 years and came when Kaewfah actually replaced Phoobadin, who suffered an injury in the build up to the bout.
Whilst the challenger made weight with no issues, the champion actually did struggle to make weight. On his first attempt make weight he was 140.8lbs and needed a second attempt on the scales to make weight, hitting the limit of 140lbs dead on. It's unclear if he actually struggled with the weight, or just misjudged things, but it's a worry ahead of what is a very big step up in class for the youngster. A win here boosts his standing, and will push him on to the fringes of the WBA world rankings, but a loss will leave many wondering whether the 16 year wunderkind is really as good as touted.
Again for fans wanting to watch it will be aired from 4PM local time on Thairath, which is Thai TV channel 32.
(Image courtesy of - The Fighter Thailand)
Tomorrow in Samut Prakan, Thailand, we'll get a really interesting card thanks to Tantelecom.
the main event of the card will see Nattapong Jankaew (6-0, 3) defending his WBA Asia Super Flyweight title against former world title challenger Petchbarngborn Kokietgym (44-9, 20), aka Karoon Jarupianlerd.
Today the two men, who clash in the main event of the Tantelecom promoted show tomorrow, took part in their weigh in today and both men made the Super Flyweight limit without any real problems.
On the scales Nattapong was 114.8lbs, comfortably under the limit, whilst Petchbarngborn was bang on the 115lb limit.
For Nattapong this is the second former world title challenger he has faced, having beaten Samartlek Kokietgym a few months ago. It's worth noting that the novice only made his debut in September 2019 and his career progression so far has been excellent. At this rate he'll be in the world title mix by the end of 2021, which is brilliant to see.
As for the 35 year old Petchbarngborn he is more than 4 years removed from his most notable bout, a 10th round KO loss to Naoya Inoue in Japan. A loss here will push him closer to retirement, though he's only lost once since the Inoue bout, and that was to timeless wonder Amnat Ruenroeng last year, and he'll be full of confidence here against such an inexperienced foe.
(Image courtesy of Tantelecom Promotion)
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 in Thailand TL Promotions put on their latest show, headlined by a WBA Asia South Featherweight title bout between Arnon Yupang (5-1, 2) and the debuting Nonthasith Petchnamthong (1-0).
Entering the bout Arnon was looking for his first defense, and on paper he had to be favoured. He had fought 5 times as a professional before this, he had rounds under his belt and was a something of a proven quality. At least on paper.
The reality however is that Arnon's experience as a professional was still pretty limited. He had debuted in November 2019 and his first 4 bouts came in less than 8 weeks, with 3 of those being 3 rounders. His only win of any note at all had come against Kwanthai Sithmoreseng, who was shot, old, fighting well outside his best weight and was never great even in his pomp. It was a good win on paper, but only on paper.
From the early going Nonthasith didn't look like a debutant going in against an unbeaten an unbeaten and fast rising hopeful. Instead both of them looked relatively inexperienced. That however didn't prevent this from being a good bout, with both men showing off some good skills despite some obvious areas to work on.
Nonthasith took center ring early and although he struggled timing Arnon in the first round he was smartly to counter the more experienced man, looking to land big counters as Arnon let his shots go. As the action went on we saw Arnon begin to pick his shots better though when he made a mistake Nonthasith made him pay with some clean sharp counters, that genuinely caught the eye.
By round 4 we were seeing Nonthasith coming forward more, forcing things himself and making Arnon doubt himself. The champion was still there, and never looked hurt, but he now looked apprehensive of getting into a fight with the challenger and was becoming more conservative with his output.
To his credit Arnon never gave up, though it was clear that Nonthasith was trying to lay traps, fighting with his hands down, and was landing the better shots. Arnon always gave an effort and tried to respond when he was caught, but he was, typically, coming off second best.
Feeling his title was slipping away Arnon finished very strongly, trying to turn it all around in round 10. That was one of his best rounds, but it was too little too late Nonthasith had his armed raised after the scorecards were read out.
We'll admit that despite the inexperience in professional boxing for both fighters, they were both really solid, and hopefully we see more of both fighters. Nonthasith looked like a very well schooled fighter, though that should be no surprise given his background in Muay Thai, and Arnon has got plenty to like and shouldn't be written off after this loss.
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