Back in December we saw a mess being created around WBC Bantamweight title as circumstancs came to result in several messes at once.
Firstly there was positive Covid19 test for Nordine Oubaali (17-0, 12) in November, scuppering a scheduled mandatory title defense with Nonito Donaire (40-6, 26). Oubaali was then designated the WBC "champion in recess" with Donaire then scheduled to face a different opponent for the full world title title.
That was before Donaire himself tested positive for Covid19, in what now seems to have been a false positive. That meant Donaire was out of the bout.
Following Donaire's positive test he was replaced by fellow Filipino Reymart Gaballo (24-0, 21) who defeated former IBF Bantamweight champion Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-2, 12), in highly debated fashion, to claim the WBC "interim" title. A title that was created due to Donaire needing to pull out.
Earlier this year the WBC re-assessed Oubaali's "Champion in recess" status, and designated him as the normal champion, giving him back the status he had before his positive test. He will now be allowed to make a voluntary defense, which seems likely to be in March, before taking on Donaire later in 2021.
Today the WBC have now confirmed the future of their interim champion, announcing that Gaballo has been ordered to rematch Rodriguez, due to the controversial result in their December bout.
The WBC explained that "After a formal appeal was received by the WBC a committee of ring officials completed a thorough analysis and review of the match, resulting in the order of free negotiations for an immediate rematch between Gaballo and Rodríguez."
We suspect the plan, longer term, is that the winner of Oubaali, his March opponent and Donaire, will take on the winner of Gaballo Vs Rodriguez II down the line. Though that is quite some way off for now.
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)
According to sources in Thailand there may a large and destructive stumbling block in the way of the much anticipated rematch between WBC Super Flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada (41-3, 28) and WBA "super" champion Roman Gonzalez (50-2, 41). And it's a man that both fighters know well.
According to article on Komthai (the site that was formerly Thairec), the WBC have now sent instructions to both Estrada's team and that of former 2-time WBC Super Flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (49-5-1, 42) [ศรีสะเกษ นครหลวงโปรโมชั่น] to negotiate a deal between the two men, to close off what would be a fantastic trilogy between the two.
The article states that on Monday night the president of the WBC ordered both teams to begin the negotiations process to organise a bout between the men, essentially ordering the two men into a mandatory title bout. The teams were also, reportedly, told that if an agreement cannot be reached the bout will go to purse bids on December 1st in Mexico City.
Srisaket is quoted as saying "I am really happy to hear this good news. Thanks to President Mauricio Suleiman and the WBC World Boxing Council Committee members for giving this order as promised. I will prepare as best as possible in my life and will definitely not disappoint you and the WBC."
Although both men have got connects to Matchroom USA, as does Roman Gonzalez, it does seem unlikely that Srisaket and his Thai team will be willing to wait too long for this shot given that he's already 33, and turns 34 in December, an age where Super Flyweights to have limited success.
Earlier today we got huge news from Thailand in regards to WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin (54-0, 18) [วันเฮง มีนะโยธิน], aka Chayaphon Moonsri, as his team announced his next defense of the Gold and Green belt.
The unbeaten champion, who not only sports a very good looking 54-0 record but is also the longest reigning active world champion, having held his title since November 2014. During that lengthy reign he has massed 12 defenses of the belt, the most for that particular title since Ricarod Lopez made 21 defenses in the 1990's.
The announcement regarding Wanheng is that he will return to the ring on November 27th to defend his belt against fellow Thai Petchmanee CP Freshmart (34-1, 22), aka Panya Pradabsri, who recently dropped down to Minimumweight to chase a world title shot at 105lbs.
Interestingly both men were in action this past Friday at the Rangsit International Stadium. The show there saw Petchmanee pick up the WBC Asian Boxing Council Minimumweight title, with a win over Wichet Sengprakhon, who retired in his corner. On the same broadcast Wanheng shared the ring for a short televised spar with WBA world champion Knockout CP Freshmart (21-0, 7) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท].
At the moment there is no confirmed venue for the bout, though it will be taking place, unsurprisingly, in Thailand.
For Wanheng this will be his 55th professional and his 13th title defense, and will be taking place when he's 35 year's old, ancient for a Minimumweight. During his long reign he has beaten the likes of Simpiwe Konkco, Tatsuya Fukuhara, Pedro Taduran, Melvin Jerusalem and Saul Juarez, but does lack a legitmate career defining win.
For the challenger this will be his second major bout, following a close loss in China to Xiong Zhao Zhong back in 2017. That loss was in a WBA International title fight, which lead to Zhong facing Knockout CP Freshmart for the WBA world title soon after. Since that loss he has picked up 16 straight wins, though his opposition has been a mix of low level foes, the best of which being the likes of Dexter Alimento, Robert Onggocan and Jerry Tomogdan. Despite his poor competition he has been knocking on the door of a world title fight, chasing a shot at Minimumweight, Light Flyweight and Flyweight.
The promoters behind the show have requested permission from the WBC to allow all the officials to be Thai's, given the on going global situation, and it appears they have been given the green light for that to happen.
To the best of our knowledge this will be the 14th time two Thai's have faced off in a world title bout and the first since November 5th 2010, when Kwanthai Sithmorseng beat Pigmy Kokietgym for the WBA Minimumweight.
Amazingly this appears to be the first time Wanheng has ever faced a Thai in professional, though he has twice faced Thai based fighters who were from abroad.
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The WBC Convention is rather notable event for a lot of reasons including the clarity the WBC give in regards to their world title situations. Here we're going to take a look at this situations directly affect Asian fighters, as per the clarity given by the WBC...or not as the case may be in some divisions.
The highest division mentioned is the Light Heavyweight situation, where we'll see WBC and IBF champion Arthur Beterbiev (15-0, 15) defending against China's Fanlong Meng (16-0, 10) [孟繁龙] in September, in an IBF mandatory. The winner of that will then have Jean Pascal (35-6-1-1, 20) as their WBC mandatory challenger.
The next highest is way down at Featherweight, where we now know that the scheduled bout between Tugstsogt Nyambayar (11-1, 9) [Нямбаярын Тогсцогт] and Eduardo Ramirez (23-2-3, 10) has become a final eliminator, with the winner then becoming the mandatory challenger. This would mean that if the Mongolian wins he could end with a second shot at WBC Featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr (31-1, 18), who beat him earlier this year.
At Bantamweight Nonito Donaire (40-6, 26) is the mandatory challenger for WBC Bantamweight champion Nordine Oubaali (17-0, 12), with their bout currently scheduled for a December date. Following that bout it's unclear what the situation is in regards to eliminators.
At Super Flyweight Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (48-5-1, 41) [ศรีสะเกษ นครหลวงโปรโมชั่น] is the mandatory challenger for Juan Francisco Estrada (40-3, 27), though it's unclear on when that bout will be possible given travel restrictions and Estrada's next bout is a voluntary defense regardless. We suspect we won't see this trilogy come to an end until 2021 at earliest.
Current WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji (17-0, 10) [寺地 拳四朗] has no mandatory set at the moment, and the WBC will announce a world title eliminator in the near future. The division is seemingly one of the ones that will be most affected by travel restrictions given that many of the top contenders currently aren't able to travel to Japan, and that's an issue not just affect Kenshiro and the WBC title but the division at large and this could mean Kenshiro defends his title against a domestic opponent later in the year.
Long reigning WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin (54-0, 18) [วันเฮง มีนะโยธิน] is able to have a voluntary defense next, with the WBC hinting that could be in September, before an eliminator will be held to decide the next mandatory challenger. As with Light Flyweight this is a division that could be massively hampered by the global situation,
Although the convention has certainly helped with some clarity as you can tell there is still a lot that is unclear, especially in the lower weight classes.
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