In this series we've already looked at poor judging, time keeper errors and a very early stoppage. Today we look at a different issue, a rather baffling technical decision. We know technical decisions are often a bit of an oddity, and are very inconsistent, but this was one of the most baffling and was so clearly suspect that it's a shame it was hidden on a very obscure Thai card when it deserved much more attention than it got.
Kwanpichit OnesongchaiGym (22-0-1, 9) Vs Ben Mananquil (9-0, 2)
For this Controversial Clash, we need to roll the clock back to July 2013 for a bout between future world title challenger Kwanpichit OnesongchaiGym, from Thailand, and Filipino Ben Mananquil. On paper this looked like the next step forward for the Thai, who was waiting for a big fight and ticking over until he got it. For Mananquil the bout was a big step up and his first outside of the Philippines.
The unbeaten Thai fighter, also known as Kwanpichit 13 Rien Express and Prasitsak Phaprom was 31 years old, and for a Flyweight a loss could well end his dreams of getting a world title fight. He had been a professional since 2010 and had padded his record with novices and regional journeymen type. Despite his competition being low level he had claimed the WBO Oriental Super Flyweight and Flyweight titles and was climbing up the WBO rankings on the back of that.
At 21 years old Mananquil looked like he was being the next Filipino tossed in to lose to a Thai in Thailand. It's something we see regularly and sadly is part of the problem with both the Filipino scene and Thai scene. It turned out, however, that Mananquil hadn't read the script and the youngster saw the bout as a winnable one.
After a few moments of posturing, from both men, the bout seemed to fall into a pattern of Kwanpichit slowly stalking Mananquil who boxed on the back foot waiting for a mistake. When that mistake came he turned the tables and battered the local on the ropes, unloading until the Thai went down. Mananquil continued his assault when Kwanpichit recovered to his feet, with the Thai managing, just, to survive the round. In many other countries the bout would have been stopped with Kwanpichit being saved as he took a worrying amount of head shots. With the help of kind referee the Thai managed to hold, survive and see his way through the round.
Honestly it could have been waved off several times in the first 3 minutes.
We then had round 2 and Mananquil could still smell blood, taking the fight to the Thai. It was a mostly dominant round for the Filipino youngster, who landed all the shots of note, whilst Kwanpichit again tried to survive the onslaught.
The wild aggression from Mananquil ended up causing a rather minor headclash which left Kwanpichit with a small cut on his right eye. It was the kind of cut that many fighters shrug off and fight with. The doctor and referee however knew they were there to protect Kwanpichit's unbeaten record, and this was a chance for them to do that. Rather than letting the bout go on, as they should, they quickly stopped the bout.
The cut was that small that by the time Kwanpichit made his way to his own corner, after the stoppage, there wasn't any sign of a bloody cut. It was, but a mere scratch.
As a result of the cut the bout ended in a 2nd round technical draw, extending the unbeaten records for both men. Later down the line Kwanpichit ended up with two sizeable pay days for facing Zou Shiming. Neither of those bouts are likely had he lost here, like he probably would have, if not for the doctor and referee.
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