One of the great things about boxing is the fighters who can consistently surprise us, despite being regularly written off. It's strange how many of these fighters come from the Philippines, where many fighters seem to pick a lot of losses, but also pick up more than their share of upsets. Numerous Filipino fighters pick up losses early in their career, whilst developing their skills, and suffering other losses by taking fights on short notices and in weight classes that they aren't best suited for. When they are up for fights, well trained and fighting at their best weight they can be genuine banana skins and we see this regular, both in Asia and when they travel further afield. Today we look at one such upset.
May 18th 2018
Bangkok University, Thonburi Campus, Bangkok, Thailand
Stamp Kiatniwat (19-1, 7) Vs Jaysever Abcede (15-8, 10)
In one corner was Thai youngster Stamp Kiatniwat, a talented young fighter who many in Thailand had tipped as a future world champion. He had made his debut at the age of 15 and had won the WBA "interim" Flyweight title in 2015, when he took a decision win over Gregorio Lebron at the age of 17. He had defended that title once, in a rematch against Lebron, before losing in a bout for the full WBA title against Kazuto Ioka, in what was a surprisingly tough bout for the Japanese star. Although Stamp lost to Ioka he was expected to bounce back and remain a good world level contender and go on to become a world champion some where down the line.
After 4 wins, following his loss to Ioka, Stamp took on Filipino southpaw Jaysever Abcede. Coming in to the bout it was known that Abcede could upset fighters, as he did against Pigmy Kokietgym in 2015, but was also not the best out there. In fact in his previous 7 bouts before facing Stamp he had gone 3-4 with stoppage losses to Lito Dante and Tsubasa Koura, and decision losses against Wanheng Menayothin and Ivan Soriano. He was, essentially, seen a game but smaller fighter, who was getting beaten up by Minimumweights and should have been no real threat to a big, strong, young Flyweight like Stamp Kiatniwat.
What few considered coming into the bout was that Abcede was suffering losses against Minimumweights because he was a natural Flyweight boiling down in weight. Although some fans want to suggest that there's nothing between those lower weights the difference can be huge on a fighter. A fighter who is a natural Flyweight boiling down to 105lbs, or even 108lbs, can lose a lot. It appears that has long been part of issue with Abcede. No one knew that at the time.
The bout started slowly, with both men getting a feel of the other. Within a minute of the fight starting Abcede began to look more confident, coming forward, throwing straight shots and applying simple but effective pressure. There was nothing too amazing about his work, but he was out landing and out working the younger man. Stamp looked the quicker fighter, but also the much smaller man, and he was forced to take some solid straight left hands from Abcede. The success from the Filipino saw him look to make the round clear as he put on the jets late on and made it almost impossible for anyone to score it to Stamp.
In round 2 we saw Abcede build on his success, quickly taking what was left of Stamp's confidence as the local began to find himself being backed on to the ropes. Stamp then began to fight like a desperate fighter. The tactic from Stamp failed to get respect from Abcede, who pressed more, backing him on to the ropes again and let his shots go. The Filipino then dropped Stamp with a sneaky left hand to the body as the two squared up, and the Thai failed to beat the count as Abcede scored a career best win.
Since this bout Stamp has seen his career fade away and he is no longer regarded as a prospect. As for Abcede he is very much an upset minded fighter looking for scales. Just 5 months after this win he upset Seigo Yuri Akui in Japan and later went on to give Kento Hatanaka a close bout in 2019. In a space of just 16 months he had gone from very limited journeyman at Minimumweight to a sort of gate keeper at Flyweight. This put him on the map, helped him find his weight and establish him as a very dangerous man capable of testing those groomed for greatness.
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).