One of the many bouts we were intrigued by last wee was the match up in Bangkok between novice Nonthasith Petchnamthong (2-0) and former world champion Kompayak Porpramook (60-10, 41), who was fighting as Kompayak TC muay thai. This was, on paper, a really serious test for Nonthasith, who only made his debut earlier this year, and it was also a chance for the aggressive veteran to get one over on a younger, less experienced fighter.
What we ended up getting was a really compelling match that saw Nonthasith put on a mature and controlled performance to take a clear decision over Kompayak, scoring his second win in the process.
Following our live viewing of the bout we have rewatched it, and given it the Five Take Away's treatment.
1-Kompayak is still a handful
Although now a 70 fight veteran with 10 losses on his record, many of which have come in recent years, Kompayak is still a really good test for fighters. We often see fighters with his style being shot by this point, but he's actually a really capable fighter still. He can still take a shot, he still has plenty of energy in his 38 year old legs, and he can still make much younger fighters work hard. We don't see him picking up many wins going forward, but we do see him as being a very reliable opponent and as someone who comes to win, and not willingly enter the ring to make up the numbers.
2-Nonthasith is no normal 2-0 prospect
Although not close to the complete package it's quite unfair to call Nonthasith a prospect. In two bouts he has won two regional WBA titles, he has gone 20 rounds, and he has answered more questions than many prospects answer in 20 fights. Not only that be he looks a natural in the ring. He moves easily around the ring, he's got good handspeed and balance, and picks his shots well. Even against an aggressive tough guy like Kompayak we didn't see Nonthasith ever look that flustered or worried, and instead he looked in control against a man who was giving his all.
3-The TL Promotions shows are very proffesional...but not very "Thai"
For years boxing in Thailand has been known for it's outdoor shows with the sun beating down on the fighters and the hot, sticky, humid conditions that often beat visitors before the men get in the ring. TL Promotions, Tantelecom and Nakornluang, had all moved away from that recently and have more professional looking indoor set ups. This is very much a professional outfit, with a home venue, the Suamlun Night Bazaar. Whilst the shows don't feel like the traditional Thai ones we've known and loved, they do look professional and almost Western. It's a really nice set up and one we're looking forward to seeing a lot more of in the coming years.
4-The replay kept the adverts in...and Thai adverts are weird
When the bouts were uploaded for re-viewing on YouTube they kept this adverts in. Or rather they left some adverts in, it may not have been the same ones. This allowed us to pay attention some very odd commercials. Thai adverts have always struck us as a bit peculiar, and these were no exception. What seemed odd however is that it was rarely more than one commercial per break and they were between rounds, sandwiched between replays. Although few people like adverts the way they were included her was very much the ideal way to use them.
5-Nonthasith's best weight is still unclear
Interest we don't believe that Nonthasith's best weight has yet been found. He debuted at Featherweight, in August, came in at Bantamweight here, and still looked like he was carrying a little bit of extra flesh. He wasn't "fat" or out of shape, but it did look like he could still cut more weight and Thai's are notoriously good at cutting weight. With that in mind we do wonder whether Nonthasith's could make Super Flyweight or even Flyweight. Neither of those lower weight classes are easy ones right now, but we would certainly say Nonthasith's would have a better chance against the smaller guys than he would against the best Bantamweights.
This past month has been a great one for fights, and we've genuine had an incredible number of fantastic fights. Whilst we can't share all of them, are some that we would like to share in our review of great fights from January. As is the norm for this site, we will only be looking at bouts featuring an Asian fighter.
Note bouts on Boxingraise, DAZN, ESPN+ and PBC won't be included in these features, unless they are made free to view by the relevant outlet. This means that the brilliant contests between Can Xu and Jesus M Rojas, Takeshi Inoue and Jaime Munguia and Ryoichi Tamura vs Mugicha Nakagawa.
Jiang Xiang (15-4-2, 3) Vs Kompayak Porpramook (59-6, 40) - January 5th, Suzhou, China
Talented Chinese Light Flyweight Jing Xiang may not be on the radar of many fight fans, especially those in the west, but his bout against former WBC world champion Kompayak Porpramook was a really exciting bout that should help put him on the map. The bout pitted the skills of Xiang, who is a wonderful sharp punching boxer-mover, against the toughness and pressure of Kompayak in what turned out to be a thoroughly fantastic bout.
Jian Wang (7-1, 2) vs Seong Yeong Yang (6-2-4, 3) - January 5th, Suzhou, China
In the 1980's Korean fighters were among the most must watch fighters on the planet. They weren't, usually, the most skilled but their bouts were often brutal, entertaining, action packed and fought on as much will as skill. Sadly we're not in the 1980's and Korean boxing scene is only a shadow of what it once was. Thankfully in January we saw the Korean spirit shine through with Seong Yeong Yang battling against Jian Wang in a thrilling 10 round war. This is a crude but all action bout that is well worthy of a watch.
Kenshin Oshima (4-1-1, 3) vs Ikuro Sadatsune (9-2-3, 3) - January 19th, Toyko, Japan
Novices have been putting in great fights in Japan recently, and a great example of this was shown in the middle of the month with the hard hitting Kenshin Oshima battling against the under-rated Ikuro Sadatsune. This 8 round bout started as a tactical affair but became a war with both guys landing big shots on each other and the later rounds were thrilling tests of heart, resolve and will to win. Sadly neither of these guys are likely to get much attention outside of Japan, but are both worth following at we go forward.
Alphoe Dagayloan (11-2-5, 5) vs Danrick Sumabong (7-1, 6) - January 26th, Cavite, Philippines
In the Philippines fight fans got a real treat when Alphoe Dagayloan battled against domestic foe Danrick Sumabong. This wasn't a war, by any stretch, but it was a thrilling, action packed, highly competitive fight. There was little to split the two men, in what was arguably the most meaningful bout for both men so far.
So, May has finally ended and we're now in June. What a perfect time to look back on the fights we've had over the past 31 days.
The action kicked off almost immediately with an intriguing Japanese show on May 1st. The headline bout saw Ryota Murata (7-0, 5) score an impressive TKO against Brazilian fighter Douglas Damiao Ataide (13-2-1, 6) and in fairness to Murata it was the sort of finish that he needed after going the distance in back-to-back fights. There is still a lot of questions regarding how far Murata will go but at times he looked world class, especially with the way he finished of Ataide, who had never previously been stopped.
Although Murata's bout was, technically, top of the bill there was also a world title fight on the card as Takashi Miura (29-2-2, 22) took care of Australian Billy Dib (39-4-0-1, 23) with a very destructive stoppage. This was Miura's 4th defence of the WBC Super Featherweight title and he's now looking to break out his passport and fight in the US or Mexico in the hope of building his international fan base.
The day wasn't all good for Japanese fighters however as Takahiro Ao (27-4-1, 12) got stopped in a WBO Lightweight title bout by Raymundo Beltran (30-7-1, 18). Beltran, who had failed to make weight for the bout, looked significantly bigger than Ao and made light work of the under-sized Japanese fighter. Interestingly a story has since broke that Beltran has failed a drugs test and if that story is confirmed this bout will be changed to a No Contest.
Just a day later we saw the richest fight in history as Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38) and Floyd Mayweather Jr (48-0, 26) finally got it on. Sadly the bout failed to live up to the expectations of many and although the bout made an insane amount of money it really did little to advertise our great sport. Pacquiao, who lost the bout by unanimous decision, did himself no favours following the bout by citing an arm injury for his performance and numerous people have since filed court cases against the hugely popular Filipino.
On May 6th we had more title action with a Watanabe promoted triple header. The most impressive performance here saw WBA Super Featherweight “super” champion Takashi Uchiyama (23-0-1, 19) blast away Thai challenger Jomthong Chuwatana (9-1, 4) in just 2 rounds. Uchiyama looked sensational at times in one of his most impressive performances since winning the title more than 5 years ago. Although the Japanese fighter looked amazing he did later require surgery on his left elbow.
On the same show Uchiyama's stablemate Ryoichi Taguchi (22-2-1, 9) retained his WBA Light Flyweight title with an 8th round TKO of Thai veteran Kwanthai Sithmorseng (49-4-1, 26). Kwanthai brought the fight for the most part but was dropped numerous times by the champion who certainly his harder than his record indicates.
The third champion to defend their title on this show was WBO female Minimumweight champion Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (7-1-2, 3) who managed to take a very close technical decision over Kayoko Ebata (8-6, 4). Sadly for Ebata this was her 4th loss in world title bouts and it now seems unlikely for her to get another.
We saw more Japanese world title action on May 9th as WBC female Minimumweight champion Yuko Kuroki (13-4-1, 6) retained her title with a wide points win against Masae Akitaya (9-6-2, 3). For Kuroki this was the second defense of her title and it seems likely that the 24 year old is only going to get better and better. Sadly for Akitaya this was her 4th set back in world title bouts and the 37 year old, who actually fought on her birthday, is clearly coming to the end of her career.
Also in action on May 9th was the iconic Hozumi Hasegawa (34-5, 15) who put on a stellar performance to clearly defeat the heavy handed Mexican Horacio Garcia (29-1, 21). The bout was Hasegawa's first for more than a year and he looked like a fighter who had more fight in him than we had expected. On the other hand Garcia was disappointing and never looked like really testing the talented Japanese southpaw.
Sadly May 9th wasn't all good for Japanese fighters as it ended with Tomoki Kameda (31-1, 19) suffering his first professional defeat. Kameda, who vacated the WBO Bantamweight title, took on WBA “regular” champion Jamie McDonnell (26-2-1, 12) and despite dropping McDonnell in round 3 Kameda came up short on the cards. The Japanese fighter suffered his first loss though there has since been a lot of talk regarding a rematch later in the year.
On May 12th we saw the ring return of former world champion Kompayak Porpramook (51-5, 36). The Thai had been out of the ring for 21 months following his October 2013 loss to Koki Eto in a FOTY contender. His return was a very low key affair against the debuting Fahpratan Kwanjaisrikot (0-1) and it was no surprise when Kompayak stopped his foe in the 2nd round.
We had one of the biggest upsets of the year, so far, on May 16th when unheralded Filipino Eden Sonsona (34-6-2, 12) shocked previously unbeaten Mexican fighter Adrian Estrella (22-1, 20). Estrella had been touted as a future world title contender though was stopped in the 2nd round by Sonsona who may well find himself capable of getting a sizeable payday next time out.
On the same night we saw Kazakh puncher Gennady Golovkin (33-0, 30) continue his reign of terror in the Middleweight division. Golovkin, defending his WBC “interim” and WBA “super” titles saw off Willie Monroe Jr (19-2, 6) in the 6th round. Monroe had given a spirited effort, especially given that he was down twice in round 2, though it did often seem like Golovkin was toying with his American foe.
May 23rd saw our attention turning to South Korea where Hyun Mi Choi (10-0-1, 3) retained her WBA female Super Featherweight title with a wide decision win over Japanese veteran Chika Mizutani (14-5, 7). Choi was in control through out the bout and looked very talented whilst Mizutani generally looked out classed but brave.
On May 28th we saw Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (34-4-1, 31) score one of his best wins to date as he mowed down Mexican Jose Salgado (34-3-2, 27) in 4 rounds. This bout was for the WBC “silver” Super Flyweight title and with the win Srisaket is now the mandatory challenger for WBC world champion Carlos Cuadras, the man that actually took the title from Srisaket last year.
The final highlight of the month came on May 30th when Japanese teenager Kosei Tanaka (5-0, 2) claimed the WBO Minimumweight title in just his 5th professional bout. The youngster over-came Mexican Julian Yedras (24-2, 13) in a compelling 12 round affair which saw Tanaka show off everything he was capable off in the ring, including a few defensive issues that will hopefully be worked on when he gets back in to the ring. The youngster became the “quickest” Japanese world champion beating the previous record of Naoya Inoue by a single fight.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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).