Much of the attention on the boxing world this coming Tuesday will be in Japan, for a world title double header, there is however one other world title bout taking place, this time in Thailand, as long reigning WBA Minimumweight "Super" champion Knockout CP Freshmart (22-0, 8) defends his title against Filipino challenger Robert Paradero (18-1, 12).
The talented 31 year old champion is one of the longest reigning active world champions in the sport, and he has held every version of a WBA title over the years. He won the interim title way back in 2014, won the regular title in 2016 and was finally upgraded to super champion behind his 2020 bout with Norihito Tanaka. Sadly whilst his reign has been long, and has included notable wins over the likes of Byron Rojas, Carlos Buitrago, Chaozhong Xiong, Rey Loreto and Muhammad Rachman, it's been a rather boring reign. He's not looked like "Knockout" CP Freshmart and more "Decision CP Freshmart", and he falls somewhat in the same vein as Devin Haney, Dmitry Bivol and Demetrius Andrade in focusing on winning first, rather than entertaining. As a result a lot of his bouts feel like they drag on, especially in the later stages when he often becomes more reserved and more cautious.
At his best Knockout is an excellent boxer. He's intelligent, he moves well, he's clean and accurate with his punches, creates spaces, and has respectable power. There's not really too many areas to pick on regarding his skillset, though that doesn't change the fact he often fights well within himself, and is rarely pushed. Despite not having many flaws, there is some areas where's not great. His power is certainly not terrifying, his out put limited at times, there are question marks about his stamina, and we do wonder how easily he makes 105lbs given he is now 31. It's clear he is among the very best at 105lbs, but we do feel that there fighters out there who have the tools to beat him, and we think a high output fighter, with a good chin, would his Kryptonite to him.
Aged 25 Robert Paradero is a Filipino fighter who turned professional in 2014, and quietly made his name fighting at home. He won his first 18 bouts without really facing anyone of note, and it was disappointing not to see his team push him hard and actually get him decent tests and experience. It was clear he was very talented but beating the likes of Ian Ligutan, Jong Sabellina and Jonathan Almacen did little more than pad his record, and didn't get him the developmental rounds he really needed before facing a major step up. Sadly for him he was moved up, big time, earlier this year and his lack of decent level experience showed as he lost a competitive split decision to Vic Saludar for the WBA "Regular" Minimumweight title. With a few solid developmental fights he could well have beaten Saludar, but didn't have the experience he needed. Sadly coming in to this bout, Saludar is the only man of note that Paradero has faced, and it again feels like he hasn't yet had the developmental fights that he needs to face someone like Knockout CP Freshmart.
In the ring Paradero is a very nice boxer, he has a nice sharp sharp, he knows hoe to move around the ring and decent speed. Sadly though he did look out of ideas when he faced Saludar, and as the fight went on he became more and more negative, skirting around the outside of the ring whilst looking worried about the power and physicality of Saludar. It was clearly a game plan, to move and make the slower Saludar chase him, but he simply didn't do enough at times and waited too long to let his own shots go. He never looked out classed against Saludar, but he looked like a man who was simply fighting the wrong fight and failing to make the most of the opportunity. He also didn't do enough, and was far too conservative for much of the bout. He looked relaxed, even in the later stages, but he failed to put his foot on the gas in the final seconds of rounds and tried to steal them.
If Paradero was given a year of Oriental level fights, given those types of bouts to mature, develop and prepare for a world title bout, we honestly think he could pick up a title. He's got a lot going for him, but needs testing bouts to develop and learn. Sadly jumping from low level domestic foes, to Saludar and then to Knockout is not the way to develop a world champion.
Sadly travelling to Thailand is never easy, beating Knockout CP Freshmart will never be easy, and doing that after having no wins of note will also not be easy. We suspect Parader will start well, he'll have success with his speed and his long, looping shots, but overall that success will be limited and instead we'll see Knockout control large swathes of the bout. To do that he will dictate the range and tempo of the bout, he will counter Paradero, and make him think twice about throwing shots, and after 8 or 9 rounds he'll be in a comfortable lead and cruise to the final bell, and his latest defense.
Prediction - UD12 Knockout CP Freshmar
World Title Previews
The biggest fights get broken down as we try to predict who will come out on top in the up coming world title bouts.