This past weekend we saw unbeaten teenage prospect Phoobadin Yoohanngoh (11-0, 6) score his latest win, stopping veteran Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo and further enhancing his impressive reputation. Sadly it seems that Phoobadin will outgrow the Thai domestic scene sooner rather than later, and could well be done with Thai foes by the end of 2021.
For now however Thailand is not letting many visitors into the country and boxers travelling over to the Land of Smiles to face the teenage sensation will be few and far between.
With that in mind we've tried to take a look at what might be next for Phoobadin as we give him the Five for... treatment, and think about 5 potential fighters he could be facing later this year. Including one man he publically called out this past weekend.
1- Apichet Petchmanee (8-0, 2)
The man Phoobadin called out after his latest win was unbeaten Thai Apichet Petchmanee, a Lightweight hopeful who is unbeaten in but has stumbled his way through a number of those bouts, and seems like a loss waiting to happen. Apichet turned professional with a fair bit of hype and expectation on his shoulders but has failed to really deliver on his potential. Now aged 31 the time is now or never for Apichet to progress on to bigger and better things, though the feeling is that a bout with Phoobadin would see him being destroyed in quick fashion. Notably Apichet is set to fight in the coming days, against Kaewfaw Tor Buamas, but if he gets through that then the build to this fight will grow.
2- Nick Frese (10-1, 8)
Whilst visitors to Thailand are limited there are some Thai based international fighters, two of which are on this list. One of those is Nick Frese, a Thai based Dutch fighter. The once touted Frese began his professional boxing career with 10 straight wins before being upset in November 2019. He's been out of the sport since then but we suspect he would happily return for a suitable bout, and a contest with the rising teenage star would be a very good reason to return to the ring. Frese is a natural Welterweight, and would be the bigger man against Phoobadin, but with more than a year out of the ring, and around 2 years since his last win, Frese would be battling ring rust and the complete lack of career momentum. The bout would also give Phoobadin a potential chance to dip his toes at 147lbs.
3- Musheg Adoian (7-3, 7)
A second Thai based international fighter is the heavy handed Musheg Adoian, who's originally from Armenia. Adoian has spent his entire professional boxing career in Thailand, debuting in 2019 and fighting as recently as December 2020. Sadly he was beaten on debut and has lost his last 2 bouts, though those most recent losses do both come with an "*". The first of those two defeats was a hugely controversial decision loss to the previously mentioned Apichet, who he dropped twice. The second was a rematch with Apichet, in which he spent much of the bout fighting with 1 arm due to a nasty injury that left him a 1-handed fighter. Despite those defeats Adoian is a dangerous fighter, with nasty power, and he would be a genuine threat for Phoobadin. It's fair to say Phoobadin would be favoured, but this would be a genuine test for the youngster.
4- Downua Ruawaiking (16-1, 13)
Potentially the most interesting, but least likely, match up would be a bout between Phoobadin and recent world title challenger Downua Ruawaiking, aka Apinun Khongsong. Downua was stopped inside a round last year by unified world champion Josh Taylor and hasn't fought since then. If we were part of Phoobadin's team we would be desperate to try and get a Downua in the ring with our guy as soon as possible. Whilst Downua is much better than his performance against Taylor suggests he is also a man who would be coming in on the back of an opening round loss and closing in on 2 years without a win. Now would be the perfect time to face him, before he can rebuild his confidence. Sadly it seems to be an unlikely bout, mainly because Downua's team would likely not want to risk back to back losses for their man, but from Phoobadin's side this is something they should be chasing.
5- Pharanpetch Tor Buamas (22-4, 20)
We'll admit we struggled to find a fifth notably option for Phoobadin, but decided to sett on Amphol Suriyo, who has previously been known as Pharanpetch Tor Buamas. The Thai 33 year old is a veteran who has faced some notable fighters of his career but shouldn't be too much of a straight to Phoobadin. Pharanpetch has been a professional since 2011, and has typically fought at Super Featherweight or Lightweight during his career. Whilst he hasn't ever shined, and is 7-4 in his last 11, he has shown an ability to pick up an occassional upset, which was saw in 2018 against Kazuki Saito. We suspect he'd be too small, and too old to be a real test for Phoobadin, but he's likely to be better at 140lbs than Chonlatarn was and would make for a decent stay busy fight whilst waiting for the Covid19 restrictions in Thailand to be lifted. Though it would be a pretty obvious "stay busy" bout for Phobadin.
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).