Thankfully we are almost through a very, very quiet and somewhat dull February and next month we will begin to see the schedule pick up with more bouts and more action. Before the month ends however we do still have some action to go, and we have a very promising Thai fighter in action this coming weekend.
The One to Watch?
Yuttapong Tongdee (5-0, 4) Vs Arthit Kaewbantid (3-1, 2)
February 27th (Saturday)
On paper this is far, far from the best bout we’ll be getting this week, but sometimes it’s not about the quality of the fight that makes us want to bring a contest to your attention but instead the fighters involved. In this particular case the bout features one of the most promising hopefuls in Thailand, as he looks to move his career forward and begin the pursuit of titles later in the year. We love drawing attention to prospects, and here we have a prospect worthy of your attention.
Although there has been very little fanfare about Yuttapong Tongdee the Thai 27 year old is a prospect to keep a serious eye on. He’s older than most prospects we talk about, but there’s two things that make us less worried about that. Firstly he was a very good amateur with years of international experience behind him. Secondly he and his team seem to realise that they need to move quickly, and he managed to squeeze 5 fights into 2020, despite not debuting until July. Not only did he fight 5 times last year, but he also took on progressively better opponents, and ended the year with a win over Pigmy Kokietgym.
Yuttapong might not be creating much buzz, but we suspect he will be fast tracked into the world rankings by the end of this year and given his age and experience it’ll be great to see just how quickly TL Promotions do step him up, and do move him into bouts with notable names.
In the opposite corner to the 27 year old Yuttapong will be teenager Arthit Kaewbantid, a 19 year old looking to bounce back from his first professional defeat. Coming into this he is the clear under-dog, and will not be the man many expect to see come out on top. Saying that however he is still a live under-dog and will be in the ring to win, to push his career forward and to get back on track following a loss last time out.
Arthit made his debut in 2019 and faced fellow debutants, as he ran his record to 3-0 (2) before clashing with the very talented Phongsaphon Panyakum in September 2020, and suffered a 3rd round loss to the highly touted Phongsaphon Panyakum. Despite losing to Panyakum there was something to like about the teenager, who tried to take the fight to his more experienced and more polished opponent before being stopped in 3 rounds.
What to expect?
We expect this to be a genuine showcase for Yuttapong, but a showcase against someone coming to win. Arthit might not be a world beater in the making but he comes to fight and will show some ambition. Sadly for him we expect to see that ambition being beaten out of him by Yuttapong, who we feel is too big, too strong and too polished. We suspect a body shot in round 3 or 4 will be the end for Arthit, but he’ll have given an honest account and will be in the ring looking to win, making for a rather fun back and forth fight, but one where Yuttapong always looks in control.
Despite how we all want to see boxing, with a winner and a loser, sometimes bouts can be good for both men. We really do see this as being an easy win for Yuttapong, we just think he’s better in so many areas. However for, Arthit sharing the ring with Yuttapon should help develop his skills, and we suspect the 19 year old will learn from sharing the ring with him. He might not be a prospect racing to the top, like Yuttapong, but in 5 or 6 years we suspect he’ll have developed into a good fighter, whilst Yuttapon will have fought at fringe world, if not actual world, class.
The bad news?
There isn’t really anything too bad here, except for the fact that Yuttapong won’t really get much attention from beating Arthit, especially given his win against Pigmy Kokietgym last year. That aside, there’s nothing particularly bad to take away from this fight, which will be shown for free, live on Thairath.
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.