Last year we saw Srisaket Sor Rungvisaia announce himself on the world stage with two huge wins against Roman Gonzalez. Today we saw Teerachai Kratingdaenggym (38-1, 28) [ถิรชัย กระทิงแดงยิม] attempt to repeat the success of Srisaket as he battled the heavy handed Lucas Martin Matthysse (39-4-0-1, 36) for the WBA Welterweight title.
The fight started well for Teerachai, who used his size, youth and jab brilliantly to keep Matthysse at range and out box the Argentinian, who looked old and tired from the opening round. The Thai kept the fight at long range with his jab whilst Mathhysse was forced to try and walk in and cut the distance, which was a real problem.
For the first 7 rounds it seemed like Matthysse was really struggling to cut the distance. He looked like a man who was out of ideas and frustrated by the size of the Thai who used his reach at range and held up close. The style of the Thai made Matthysse look terrible and made the crowd boo the fight, showing that they were just as frustrated as the Argentinian.
With Teerachai looking comfortable, and in the lead,it was clear Matthysse would need to find something, and he did saw in round 8. He dropped the Thai hard with a right jand, taking advantage of the fact Teerachai's chin was less than concrete. To his credit Teerachai got up but was dropped again only moments later as Matthysse landed a hard jab and a glancing right hand to put Teerachai out for the count.
The loss ends Teerachai's long unbeaten run, and given his style he won't be invited back to US soil any time soon, but the performance really showed how far Matthysse has slipped and it may well be time for the Argentinian to retire rather than risk taking more punishment in the ring.
Sadly neither man came out looking great and it's a bout where really there were no out and out winners. HBO didn't get an enjoyable fight, fans booed, Teerachai lost and Matthysse looked a shot fighter.
Earlier today we saw Venezuelan star Jorge Linares (44-3, 27) defending his WBA, Ring Magazine and WBC “Diamond” titles against Filipino challenger Mercito Gesta (31-2-2, 17).
The fight started surprisingly competitively with Gesta aggressively coming forward, using a lot of head movement and letting his hands go in a manner that seemed to make Linares somewhat nervous. The Venezeuelan always looked the more skilled but Gesta was applying pressure, managing to get through with some hooks up top and seemed to be making Linares work for the rounds. It was however Gesta having his durability, toughness and heart tested as he was forced to take shots to land his occasional blow.
After the decent start from Gesta we saw Linares turn up the gears and begin to show case his skills, hand-speed and combinations. It began to look like the fight many expected, but Gesta was doing enough to force Linares to remain switched on, which saw him landing some razor sharp straights and eye catching combinations.
In round 8 Gesta managed to open up a nick above Linares' right eye, and Freddie Roach, in Gesta's corner, would likely have began to see a door open for the upset. Instead it seemed to solidify Linares' who seemed to win round 9 with his smart pot shot-ting, though did have to come through a strong Gesta rally as the Filipino let his hands go in short but exciting bursts.
Gesta refused to back down and just take the loss and continued to press the action in round 10, which was one of Linares' worst due to a lack of work from the champion. The success from those two rounds saw Gesta putting himself in harms way in the final couple of rounds but resulted in him taking shots from the faster, smoother Linares, who was constantly being forced to work.
Although Gesta was out classed for the most part he did come to fight and forced Linares to fight back in a fight that seemed to fly by. Sadly for Gesta though he never looked capable of doing enough and came up well short on the cards, with scores of 118-110, twice, and 117-111 all in favour of Linares.
To his credit this was the best we'd seen of Gesta, and whilst he wasn't close to winning he really put in an effort, especially early on. For Linares this win sets up some potential super fights with Vasyl Lomachneko and Mikey Garcia, but he would be the under-dog against both.
World Title Results
Whether you like them or not World Titles add prestige to any bout as a result we've included the results of world title bouts in this special section.