At the start of this week the WBA ordered their Minimumweight champion Knockout CP Freshmart (15-0, 7) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] to begin negotiations to make a mandatory defence of his title, with the unbeaten Thai ordered to negotiate with WBA #1 ranked contender Rey Loreto (23-13, 15), of the Philippines. The two teams had 30 days to negotiate a deal, starting this past Monday, before the WBA will order purse bids.
For Knockout the bout will serve as his third defense of the title and see him facing his first Filipino foe since his 2014 win over Cris Alfante, who was stopped in 5 rounds by the Thai. Although this will only be his third defense of the WBA title he did make 3 interim title defenses before winning the regular title in June last year, when he out pointed Byron Rojas. That bout with Rojas was the last mandatory title bout for the title with Knockout staying busy with two voluntary defenses.
For Loreto the bout ends a long wait for a big fight following big upset wins over Pornsawan Porpramook in 2013 and wins over Nkosinathi Joyi in 2014 and 2015. Although he lacks he pretty looking record he has won his last 7, with 6 TKO's, and been matched hard through his career, with losses against the likes of Paipharob Kokietgym, Wisanu Kokietgym, Jason Canoy and began his career 0-4. Since that bad start he has turned his career aroudn and proven to be a tough and heavy handed fighter who has been one to avoid.
Although it's not yet been decided it does seem likely that the bout will be held in Thailand and will occur in the summer, with an outdoor venue likely as Knockout's team do all they can to get their man all the advantages they can.
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