The last few weeks have been awfully weird ones for those following the career of WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin (54-0, 18) [วันเฮง มีนะโยธิน]. He originally announced his retirement over social media, before essentially cancelling that retirement a day later.
Along with his unretirement came a number of statements from those involved in his career, talking about how he was carrying minor injuries but was going to continue his boxing career, and was going to fight on.
Soon after that he had a medical examination that revealed a sinus problem, with his left nasal cavity, and blurriness in his right eye. Those issues lead to him being given medication for a week and yesterday he returned to the doctors where it was found that the symptoms were the same as they were previously.
It's now been revealed that Wanheng has had his medication altered and will see the doctor again in a week's time. The hope is that the new medication will help the fighter recover from the issues that have been plaguing him in recent weeks.
Interestingly the new medication has, reportedly, got a chance of showing up in a drugs test as a banned substance and has other negative side effects.
Filipino prospect Mark Bernaldez (W20 KO14 L3) made easy work on the scales as he tipped in at 132 pounds while undefeated American foe Albert Bell (W16 KO5 L0 D0) weighed a pound heavier at 133 pounds. Both pugs are fighting in the featherweight division and the catch-weight has been agreed upon by both camps. Bell is the heavy favorite in this clash being the undefeated fighter fighting in his turf. However, Bernaldez has all the motivation he needs as his stablemate Mike Plania recently destroyed Joshua Greer Jr. in an upset win.
“I am happy to easily make weight. I feel strong. Mike Plania inspired be a lot to take home this win. It feels better going up the ring as underdog. No pressure, just overflowing determination to win. I am grateful to my team for this chance. This is a big fight for me. I dedicate this fight to my countrymen who are fighting hard against this pandemic”, Bernaldez said. The Top Rank promoted event will be held at the MGM Grand Las Vegas.
Yesterday it was announced that Filipino veteran Mercito Gesta (32-3-3, 17) would be returning to the ring on July 24th at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino to face off with unbeaten youngster Hector Tanajara (19-0, 5). The bout will be part of the first Golden Boy card since lockdown began in the US, and will be headlined by Vergil Ortiz Jr battling Samuel Vargas.
The 32 year Gesta was once tipped as a star but now finds his career hanging by a threat, with a 2 year gap since his last win. Whilst some of that has been doing to the ongoing situation he also failed to pick up a win last year. He began 2019 with an upset loss to Juan Antonio Rodriguez and then suffered a technical draw with Carlos Morales, in a bout that left many wanting a rematch.
Tanajara on the other hand is a 23 year tipped for big things. He's a very talents youngster on the way up and although he lacks power he is a real talent who had a break out in 2019 with 2 wins and has already picked up a win over Juan Carlos Burgos this year. On paper he's staying at the same level as his last bout, but will know that a win here pushes him one fight closer to a world title fight.
This is a nice looking fight fight, a must win for Gesta, and one that could help see a star, in Tanajara, being thrust into some major fights very soon.
Unbeaten Uzbek prospect Shakhram Giyasov (9-0, 7) [Shahram G‘iyosov] had his next bout announced yesterday. On paper it's not an awful match, but in reality it's one that Giyasov should win, and should look good winning.
The talented Uzbek, who won a Silver medal at the 2016 Olympics, will be up against Mexican foe Francisco Hernandez Rojo (22-3, 15) and on paper it really does look a great bout. Especially when you consider Giyasov hasn't fought in the pro's since last August, when he beat Darleys Perez in just 41 seconds. Sadly however scratching beneath his record Rojo looks less than suitable for a top prospect to face off with.
The Mexican hasn't fought since August 2018, when he stopped Galvis Guerra. Whilst American fans may remember him from a close loss to Ryan Martin in September 2017 that was one of only 3 bouts he's had in 36 months, and lets be honest Ryan Martin was made to look a long way removed from world class when he was beaten by Josh Taylor in the WBSS.
Although not old we do worry that Rojo's inactivity, and the fact he seems to get his best results at Lightweight rather than Light Welterweight, he is still not a terrible opponent, though we don't imagine he will be a test for Giyasov.
This bout is set to take place on August 15th in Tulsa as part of a Matchroom card which will feature a mouth watering main event, between WBC Flyweight champion Julio Cesar Martinez and mandatory challenger McWilliams Arroyo, and a really good chief support bout between Cecilia Braekhus and Jessica McCaskill. The show is also set to be the first Matchroom US card, following the on going global situation.
A few weeks ago the KBA announced that In Duck Seo (12-3-2, 7) [서인덕] and Jung Kyoung Lee (8-3-1, 4) [이중경] would face off for the WBA Asia Welterweight title in July. That bout, and entire show, has now been re-arranged, being pushed back from July 4th to August 8th.
The bout was one of the most interesting all-Korean bouts in quite some time, so whilst it's a shame we have to wait longer for the bout it's still great that it's taking place, and although the WBA Asia Welterweight title isn't worth much in the grand scheme of things it does add something extra to a bout like this.
Interestingly the KBA have also another a new supporting bout for the show, with the always fun to watch Jong Seon Kang (10-0-2, 6) [강종선] taking on Seong Yeong Yang (8-2-5, 4) [양성영] in a 10 round Featherweight bout. If this bout has been the reason the show has been delayed we're certainly not going to complain, as this is another fantastic match up and Kang is one of the most exciting Korean's in the sport, as we saw last year here in his great bout with Tomjune Mangubat in Vietnam.
Interestingly it appears that fans may be able to attend the event, with the KBA announcing that the ability of spectators to attend will be announced at a later date. Again if this is why the event has been delayed, to allow fans to attend, then it's hard to complain about the decision to push the show by a month.
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