Last Saturday from Thailand we were able to see 16 year old Thai sensation Phoobadin Yoohanngoh (10-0, 5) score his biggest victory to date, as he secured a 6th round TKO win over the previously unbeaten Atchariya Wirojanasunobol (13-1, 5), and retain his WBA Asia Light Welterweight title. The win was a stellar one for the youngster, who really added some legitimacy to his record and his standing as one of the most promising teenagers in the sport.
With the bout now watch, and rewatched, lets take a look at the bout as we discuss our Five Take Aways.
1-Phoobadin has amazing composure
This was the thing that really impressed us at the start of the bout. Phoobadin's composure, timing and shot selection under pressure was incredible. He was under pressure early on from Atchariya but showed no fear of the older man, tucked up well, understood where he was, picked his shots well and countered excellently. Watching live we felt he was too patient, but in reality he was just showing his extreme composure, picking his man off and getting a full read on his opponent. It might be too soon to call him a boxing genius, but he's a very smart young fighter.
2-The crowd at the Suamlum Night Bazaar were great
We're still not really seeing big crowds at boxing on any sort of a regular basis, and that sucks however here we had a very loud and vociferous crowd for the bout, cheering loudly when either man landed a solid shot. This was a small venue, the crowd was small, but they were loud, and they were excited. After months of not hearing the roar of the crowd on a regular basis this was great to hear. Fingers crossed that in 2021 we won't be talking about crowds as being something special, but here it felt special.
3-It's a real shame Atchariya lost 2 years of his career
The previously unbeaten Atchariya is clearly a talented fighter, we had seen that in the past and we saw some of that here too. Sadly however at the age of 31 he is almost certainly on the back end of his career and is on the slide. The biggest shame however is that he last around 2 years of his career due to an arrest at a Thai airport on route to a fight in Japan. He was arrested on drug charges that later fell apart. This was only his second fight since being released and we really wonder if it was too much too soon after such a lengthy lay off. Fingers crossed this won't be the end for him, but the way he was stopped there may not be too much left in the tank for a man who was perhaps never quite going to be the same after his arrest.
4-Phoobadin has a real killer instinct
Through the first few rounds Phoobadin fought within himself, waiting, counter punching, showing his composure and patience and not taking risks. In round 6 however he put his foot on the gas and hurt his man, then went all out for the finish, dropping Atchariya several times. This was a brilliant finish and shows that the youngster, even at the age of 16, gets it. He knows that when his man is hurt he needs to go for the kill, seek a finish and no let his opponent back into the bout. That's exactly what we saw here, and bot oh boy did he make sure there was no controversy about the finish. He beat the fight out of Atchariya, broke his heart, and forced his corner to jump in the ring. This was a great finish by the youngster who had gone the distance in his last 4 bouts. With a 10-0 (5) record he might not look like a puncher but he showed here that he has more than a little pop on his shots.
5-We want to see Phoobadin Vs Jin Sasaki!
It's really rare that we get two teenagers worthy of attention in the same weight class, who could conceivably face off but right now we have that in Asia at 140lbs with Phoobadin, from Thailand, and Jin Sasaki, from Japan. We know this isn't likely to be a fight that we see get made, but if they clash before July next year, before Sasaki turns 20, this would be up there with the most anticipated all-teen bouts in the sports history. Come on boxing gods, give us this treat! And then let them rematch down the line...and rematch again further down the line! Two young, unbeaten, talented, heavy handed kids going at it...yes please!
Extra Take Away - The advertising in the bottom right corner
We know Thailand has some very unique customs when it comes to boxing, such as the lengthy delay between ring entrances and the bell for main events, and the often held up placards at the end of the fight by the winner. Here is seems they have changed one of those traditions and are now showing a rotating series of logo's from various sponsor in the bottom corner of the TV broadcast. It's jarring in some ways, but very a interesting way to get extra extra sponsors shown on screen, and for much longer than the typical post fight placards. We do wonder if this is going to be an idea that other Thai promoters follow up with in the future. This is similar to what we used to see on Filipino broadcasts, where they used the bottom part of the screen for adverts, but is much more constant and yet still less intrusive.
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).