During this series we have featured a lot of Japanese domestic bouts, but not too many other domestic bouts from through out Asia. Part of that is due to how easy it is to get access to TV quality Japanese action, something that's not all that easy in Thailand, Korea Indonesia and the Philippines. Second is the level of match ups in Japan tend to be, for the most part, more interesting than we get from through the rest of Asia.
Despite that we do come across some great bouts from the rest of the continent, and today we bring you a modern day Thai fight that's worthy of attention. It pitted two young novices against each other and they delivered a thrilling bout and both would quickly become among the more exciting Thai prospects that emerged over the following year or two.
Thananchai Charunphak (1-0, 1) vs Phongsaphon Panyakum (1-1)
In one corner was the unbeaten Thananchai Charunphak who had made his debut in July 2018, with a blow out win. He had, reportedly, been a well regarded amateur and was tipped for success when he turned professional, but at this point he was just an 18 year old professional with less than 3 minutes of pro experience under his belt.
In the opposite corner was fellow 18 year old Phongsaphon Panyakum, who had made his debut in 2017, losing to Kai Ishizawa in Japan, before returning to the ring 13 months later to pick up a win at home against Phormsan Chanla. Incidentally his win came on the same show that Thananchai made his debut on.
Coming in to this both men seemed to feel like they had a point to prove. A win was great, but it wasn't going to be enough. They had to do more than just win. They had to look good, they had to put on a show, and make fans sit up and take note. Both men seemed to go in with that shared mentality, and it made for something truly brilliant.
With a brilliant and lively atmosphere filling the Workpoint Studio in Bang Phun, it felt like a big occasion. Yes these two men were novices, yes these were both kids, but the bout felt big, it felt important and it felt meaningful before a punch was even thrown.
From the off Phongsaphon, in the blue and black shorts, looked to press forward whilst Thahanchai looked to box, move, use his straight punches and rely on his boxing skills. They styles gelled almost immediately with Phongsaphon landing clean single shots and Phongsaphon walking through them to press and land his own shots. It was an opening round that matched volume against quality and although it had sloppy moments it had taken less than 3 minutes to feel like a special fight. At the bell both men played to fans, feeling they had done enough to take the round.
The high tempo action moved up a gear in round 2 as Thananchai started the round fast, unloading big head shots from the opening seconds. Phongsaphon seemed in real trouble, but rode out the storm, recovered his bearings and came back strong in the final moments of a pulsating round that deserved a much bigger audience.
Notably the tempo seemed to be taking it's toll on Thananchai who twice lost his gum shield in round 2.
In round 3 we again saw Phongsaphon forcing the tempo, as he did in the first round, whilst Thananchai tried to rely on his slick skills and movement. This was a big round for Phongsaphon who looked like a man on a mission and refused to back away from the clearly tiring Thananchai.
This left everything to play for in the final round, which was again a sensational round. We won't ruin, or the outcome.
If you want to see a thrilling bout from Thailand, with a great atmosphere, intense and brilliant action, and two men putting it all on the line this is ideal and it really is a bout that everyone deserves to watch. If you've seen it, watch it again! If you've not seen it, put 20 minutes aside and enjoy a fantastic little war between two tremendously talented Thai teens.
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