Over the last few years the Light Flyweight division has been red hot. It has simply been on fire with great fights, amazing match ups, fighters at the top taking on legitimate contenders and whilst we have lacked unification bouts we've never felt like the division was on a stand still, like we see with some other divisions. Contenders aren't being frozen out, but are getting shots, thanks to the activity and mentality of the champions, who all want to improve their standing in the sport. For today's closest classic we roll back to 2011 for maybe the best Light Flyweight bout of the last decade, and one of the best bouts of the last decade, full stop.
Kompayak Porpramook (43-3, 29) Vs Adrian Hernandez (22-1-1, 14) I
It's December 23rd 2011, just days from Crhistmas and WBC Light Flyweight champion Adrian Hernandez, who would later fighter Naoya Inoue, was looking to make his second defense of the title. He had won the belt less than 8 months earlier, stopping Gilberto Keb Baas and had made his first defense in September, stopping Gideon Buthelezi. He had looked like the new rising star of Mexican boxing at the weight. He was more than 3 years removed from his sole loss and looked like he was going to be a major player in the division.
Kompayak on the other hand was a relative unknown outside of Asia. Like many Thai he had a great looking record, a throw back record if you will, but you'd have been hard pushed to have recognised many of his opponents up to this point. They were, for the most part, the mixture of Thai and Indonesian journeymen that did the Thai circuit, and Hussein Hussein, who stopped Kompayakin 4 rounds. Even those actively follow the Asian scene would have struggled to have picked out more than 10 of Kompayak's opponents, and of those 10 almost all, Hussein aside, would have been known as journeyman and losers. He had done nothing to deserve a shot at a world title, and it seemed as if the Mexican's team thought this would be an easy defense.
As we all know by now no bout in Thailand is easy, especially not a bout outdoors in the baking sun. The average mean temperature in Thailand in December is 26.5°C (79.7°F), add in the fact the humidity is around the mid 60's and the bout is outdoors and you have conditions weighed heavily against the visitor. Despite those conditions we got something special.
The fight started with Kompayak pressing the action and Hernandez responded. This was no typical opening round. This wasn't a feeling out round. Instead it was an action packed round that set the foundations for an hellacious back and forth brawl.
Round after round the two men would stand in the pocket and let shots go, fighting a truly scary tempo given the conditions, and it wasn't just Kompayak pressing forward, with Hernandez giving just as good, if not better, than he was taking. It seemed as if the Mexican's confidence of beating the little known Thai drove him on, making him dig deeper and deeper to win what was supposed to be an easy bout.
As the bout went on both men refused to show signs of tiring, it was a war, a battle of attrition and eventually every was has a loser, with the battle and conditions finally taking their toll on one of the men.
Interestingly the two men would later have a rematch, less than a year later in Mexico. That rematch wasn't as good as this fight, it was another action packed war and well worth watching as well!
When we have some free time we're hoping to add a series of fun articles to the site. Hopefully these will be enjoyable little short features