For this week's "Who..." the team who set up Asianboxing.info take a look at Thailand for their question and they also take a look at the future, as the trio put for their cases for this week's question, and once again they've come up with 3 different fighters for fans to take note of.
This weeks question for the trio is:
"Who... is the best prospect in Thailand?"
Lee: "In 2020 there was a lot of Thai fighters who caught my attention, and got me excited for the future of boxing in Thailand. I'm sure some of those fighters will be mentioned by the other guys but the one I want to tip as the best is teenage fighter Sangarthit Looksaikongdin (Phoobadin Yoohanngoh).
With Sangarthit/Phoobadin I think we have the perfect mix of long term potential, given he is only 17, a weight class that gets international attention and a fighter with fantastic skills in his tool box. The fact he is so young gives him a lot of time to polish off his skills, build on foundations he already has and mature his man strength. He clearly understands the sport, he's quick and sharp, understands distance and angles and looks like one of the hottest prospects in world boxing.
I do have some reservations. His training appears to be very hard on his young, and still developing, body. I worry that maybe he is taking too much out of himself with some of his training. I also think fighting at 140 or 147 may limit his potential opponents in Asia. But I think there is too much upside to avoid."
Takahiro: "For this week, I am picking Boonrueang Phayom.
I like to see young fighters with exciting styles and power and it's hard for me to not be a big fan of a young man with a perfect 9-0 (9) record. The 21 year old Boonrueang made his debut in 2017, vanished for a while, matured away from the ring, and since returning in 2019 has been a busy boy.
His competition is admittedly not very good, a lot of Thai fighters fight not very good fighters to build experience. But he has results that are better than other fighters, like his win over Tongthep Taeyawong is quicker than the one scored by Koki Mioya and Petch CP Freshmart and we have seen him fight into the 7th round before.
I like Boonrueang Phayom a lot. He will go a long way."
Scott: "There is a lot of talent coming through in Thailand right now. Fighters like Nattapong Jankaew, Thanongsak Simsri, Thananchai Charunphak, Phongsaphon Panyakum, Nonthasith Petchnamthong, Pattawee Phansawat, Yuttapong Tongdee, Theeraphan Polsongkarm and the men mentioned by Taka and Lee. There really is so much excitement bubbling under the radar in Thailand that narrowing it down to just 1 prospect was a problem.
If someone held a gun to my head and made me pick one however I'd go with Thitisak Hoitong, a fighter who really does have me very, very excited for the future.
Aged 25 Thitisak isn't the youngest out there, and physically he's maybe only a year or two away from his prime. He is however a very talented fighter, with a strong amateur background, an insane level of confidence in the ring and a very clear natural affinity for the sport. We saw in his debut, against Samartlek, that he has the tools to do great things in professional boxing. Also he's at Flyweight, a division where Asia is rife with fighters, and where good bouts should be easy for him to get. There isn't a need for him to chase bigger names around the globe, but instead fly off to Japan and the Philippines for regional level fights and training.
To me the age issue with Thitisak is less of an issue and more of an upside. His team know they don't need to molly coddle him, and can let him loose sooner rather than later. If you're not aware of him, make a note of his name now, as he will likely be in the regional title mix by the end of the year, and potentially the world rankings by the time we enter 2022."
This is just an opinion, maaaan! It's easy to share our opinions, and that's what you'll find here, some random opinion pieces