Earlier today we saw Thailand's criminally under-rated Wanheng Menayothin (40-0, 15) retain his WBC Minimumweight title with a 9th round TKO win against Korean slugger Young Kil Bae (26-5-1, 21), who actually failed to make weight for the bout. In the hours that followed the bout we saw two rumours emerge about Wanheng's next defense.
The first of those rumours, and by far the more interesting, was that Wanheng would return to action in February to defend his belt against the excellent Carlos Buitrago (28-1-1-1, 16) in Thailand. The bout really is a mouth watering one between one of the most under-rated champions in boxing and one of the truly elite Minimumweight contenders, and a man who could easily have won a title already in his career. Buitrago is known to Thai fans for his loss, last year, to Knockout CP Freshmart in a WBA interim title fight and was also held to a very controversial draw in the Philippines by Merlito Sabillo.
On paper a bout between Buitrago and Wanheng would be brilliant, and it would give the winner a really high quality win, something that perhaps both men actually lack at the moment. It would howevcer depend on whether or not Buitrago would be willing to travel for what would be another tricky assignment away from home, where he perhaps feels he has been robbed in the past.
The other rumour, which was apparently mentioned ringside, was that Wanheng would be travelling to Japan in March to face Go Odaira (12-4-3, 1) who recently gave up the Japanese title to focus on a world title fight. At the time we assumed Odaira was vacating to focus on a bout with WBO champion Kosei Tanaka however a WBC title bout wouldn't be out of the question and would allow Wanheng to show his face in Japan ahead of possible unification bouts with either Tanaka or IBF champion Katsunari Takayama, both of whom will be defending their titles on New Year's Eve.
To add to the Odaira rumour the WBC have slowly but surely let him climb up their rankings without needing to actually do anything. Back in March, when Odaira last fought, he was ranked #25 by the WBC who now rank him at #11, somehow. That sort of climb does suggest that the WBC are happy to give him a shot even if he's not actually earned it.
Whilst neither story appears to have been confirmed as of yet by Wanheng's team both do look like real possibilities, if Wanheng doesn't have his mandatory sorted by the start of next year.
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