This week is set to be an interesting one for fight fans, with some huge fights set to take place, and it's going to be very easy to over-look some hidden gems. One of the potential hidden gems is a bout from Thailand which could end up being a thrilling action bout, and a great chance to see one of Thailand's top prospects in action. The bout is one which will take place on Saturday in Thailand, but will be shown in the US on Friday night, and promises to be a fantastic way to start a busy boxing weekend!
The One to Watch?
Chainoi Worawut (13-0-1, 12) Vs Pungluang Sor Singyu (54-9, 36)
March 13th (Saturday) [March 12th - Friday, in the US)
This bout ticks two boxes for fights that we like. One of those is that the bout features a really talented young prospect, in fact it features a prospect that many in Thailand regard as one of the nations most promising hopefuls and a future face for the nation’s boxing scene. Secondly it’s a match up that promises a lot of fireworks, with an exciting but flawed power puncher taking on an always fun to watch pressure fighter who smiles when he gets hit and refuses to take a backwards step. This should be a very, very tough test for the prospect, and should be a barn burner.
Unbeaten 23 year old puncher Chainoi Worawut, also known as Thattana Luangphon and "Rock Man", is a highly touted Thai Super Bantamweight hopeful who is quickly becoming one of the leading faced of NKL promotions, the same promotional stable that have helped make Srisaket Sor Rungvisai a 2-time world champion. The youngster was a stand out amateur Muay Thai fighter who turned professional as a boxer a few years ago and has been regarded as a potential star for boxing in Thailand ever since.
So far into his career Chainoi has looked exciting, aggressive, powerful and like the sort of fighter who can connect with a wider audience. He has however been pretty matched pretty softly so far, often against under-sized opponents or opponents who posed little threat. One of the few men who did ask questions of him was Daichi Matsuura, who lasted 12 rounds with him, and another was Rakniran Muadransarakam, who held him to a draw very early in his career. On paper this is a massive step up for him, and a chance for him to make a name for himself internationally, with this bout being shown live on DAZN.
The 31 year old Pungluan Sor Singyu is a fighter who has been a professional since he was 15 and has had a very long and interesting career. He won his first 23 bouts before a decision loss in Belgium against Stephane Jamoye, aged 19. He then rebuilt with 20 wins, including one against AJ Banal to become the WBO Bantamweight champion. Sadly however he lost in his first defense, losing a razor thin decision to Paulus Ambunda. He rebuilt once again, before losing in 2014 to Tomoki Kameda, in his US debut, before finally recapturing the WBO title with a 2nd round KO win over Ryo Akaho. He managed a single defense before losing the belt to Marlon Tapales and retiring. It was, however, a short lived retirement and he has been active since 2018, though has picked up losses since his return going 2-5 in his 7 bouts since returning to the ring.
Although Pungluang has been picking up losses since his ring return he has been a really fun fighter to watch. Win or lose he has been in the ring looking for a fight, bringing tense pressure for every minute of every round, and forcing everyone and anyone to fight at a high pace. That actually saw him dragging a really fun to watch fight out of the awkward and frustrating Amnat Ruenroeng last year, in what was a surprisingly entertaining gem. He presses forward, he walks into a fight, and when tagged he smiles before coming again. He is making for fun fights, no matter who he is in the ring with.
What to expect?
We know, going into this, that Chainoi will be wanting to put in a performance that will catch the eye of international fans. He won’t be wanting to box and move and pick up a rather dreary decision by just moving and neutralising the pressure of Pungluang. Instead he will be wanting to put his foot down, fight fire with fire and make for a fun, exciting clash. That is something that will suit Pungluang, who will trudge forward, walk into distance, take a pounding and smile, before resetting and coming again.
We expect this to be really action packed, fought at a thrilling pace and be a very action heavy fight. The quality, at times, might dip a little bit, but the intense, back and forth, action will be highly entertaining throughout the contest. In the end however the natural size and youth of Chainoi should be too much and should take him to a clear, if hard fought, decision win.
The bad news?
There isn’t really any negative going into this fight. It’s at a suitable time for a US audience, as well as a Thai and European one. It’s set to be a fun, exciting fight and it’s being shown internationally. If any complaints are to be had it’s potentially the fact the fight will be overshadowed by the main event, which will feature Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, however that really is the only negative, and if anything Srisaket’s bout will actually help this one get more eyeballs on it!
Takahiro Onaga is a regular contributor to Asian Boxing and will now be a featured writer in his own column where his takes his shot at various things in the boxing world.