To kick off the month of May, WP Boxing are set to give us a treat, which will also be shown on DAZN for those outside of Thailand. The card is certainly not one which will turn heads or get much attention by default but the main event is something of a potential hidden gem, and could be one of the few fights that really helps kick start May, which promises so much later in the month.
The One to Watch?
Thananchai Charunphak (11-1, 9) Vs Adrian Lerasan (9-4, 2)
May 1st (Saturday) (Note - this bout has now been postponed to June 5th)
Here we have two men who aren't too well known, but should make for a really great match up. In one corner will be one of the top rising prospects in Thailand, and someone who regular viewers of the WP Boxing series should be familiar with. In the opposite corner is a hungry youngster looking to build on a career best win, which just so happened to be the last time he travelled over to Thailand and faced a highly regarded Thai hopeful!
We suspect those who have been following Thai boxing over the last two or three years will have some familiarity with Thananchai Charunphak. The talented and heavy handed youngster is one of the real emerging faces of Thailand and is quickly becoming one of the most promising prospects in the country. He's only 21 but already holds wins over Samartlek Kokietgym, Kompayak Porpramook and Pigmy Kokietgym and another win here would be a big over over a live, young, foe.
Whilst Thananchai is somewhat well known the same can't be said of Adrian Lerasan, who's biggest achievement so far is a shock win in 2020 over Tanes Ongjunta. Although not well known Lerasan has faced some solid names and has beaten the likes of MJ Bo, twice, and Jeny Boy Boca. He has also given Dave Apolinario a very solid test in 2019. Lerasan is less than polished, but is tough, he comes to win, and few can doubt his desire and his heart. At 22 years old he is still a young, ambitious fighter himself, despite having 4 losses to his name, and he will enter this bout showing no fear, at all, of Thananchai.
What to expect?
We expect this to be the hidden gem of a bout. Thananchai will look to dictate, take center ring and box. He is the more skilled and more polished fighter, but also the more deliberate fighter and it can sometimes be clear what he's doing and how he does things. Which could make this interesting as Lerasan is a bit unpredictable, a bit wild, and a bit crude. That crudeness could work in his favour here, and could end up catching Thananchai more often than the Thai would like.
Sadly we don't think Lerasan has the power to really bother Thananchai, but will certainly come to fight, have moments of real success and give Thananchai a lot to think about. We saw against Ongjunta that he's tough, gutsy, brave and doesn't come to roll over. Sadly however he is likely to be more of a "valiant loser" here than really come close to picking up the win.
The bad news?
The bout is unlike to get much attention given the other bouts taking place in early May, including Kazuto Takesako Vs Riku Kunimoto in Japan, Dereck Chisora Vs Joseph Parker in the UK and Erislandy Lara Vs Thomas Lamanna in the US. It's also not really one where we can see an upset as being likely, though we do imagine this will be a very, very fun fight to watch.
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.