In Japan we've seen a rise in the super talented youngster with the likes of Naoya Inoue, Daigo Higa, Kosei Tanaka and Takuma Inoue all impressing in recent times. The same can also be said of some Filipinos such as Albert Pagara and Mark Magsayo. Thailand however have been left slightly behind their local rivals with few young Thai's really making their mark near the top of the sport.
Today however we saw that change with teenager Stamp Kiatniwat (14-0, 6) claiming the WBA “interim” Flyweight title courtesy of a decision win over Dominican slugger Gregorio Lebron (13-3, 11).
The pattern of the fight was set very early in the contest with Lebron marching forward from the opening bell whilst Stamp moved, looked for counters and tried to use the visitors aggression against him. It worked a charm for the Thai who managed to hurt the Dominican in the opening round before dropping him late in the round. The Dominican got back to his feet, and saw out a Stamp assault late on, but it was clear this was going to be a tough afternoon for Lebron.
Lebron's game plan never really changed. His intention through out was to come forward, swinging powerful but wild shots in the general direction of the Thai who often saw them coming a mile off. It was, at times, as if Lebron was hand picked for Stamp to look good against. Through rounds 2,3 and 4 that was the case with Stamp looking like he was having fun countering when he wished and coming forward as chose.
In round 5 things began to get a little tricker for the Thai teenager with Lebron seemingly coming on strong late in the round, which seemed to be a short round. Lebron continued his late surge in round 5 with a brilliant round 6 that saw him genuinely having Stamp in trouble with the Thai being given one of the most torrid rounds of his short career. The Thai suddenly appeared in trouble and it was almost as if he was coming undone at the seams, as he compatriot Kongfah CP Freshmart did last week against the aforementioned Daigo Higa.
It was fair to say that the bout appeared to be turning in favour of the visitor who had managed to get real momentum in the middle portion of the fight. Sadly for him he let it go as both men had a very quiet 7th round with little offense from either man really worthy of note, in fact if anything the most solid shots were right hand leads from Stamp. By round 8 Stamp had completely resettled however Lebron still looked dangerous and strong as he attempted to walk down the Thai and re-establish his control of the action.
Round 9 was a close one and it still seemed unclear if Lebron was going to manage to get to Stamp, the Thai however responded in style in round 10 dropping the Dominican who really struggled to survive the round. Lebron was dropped hard and follow up attacks from Stamp appeared to leave Lebron close to going before the bell eventually came.
Given that Lebron looked spent at the end of round 10 it seemed clear that Stamp would hunt the stoppage to begin the 11th round. Lebron however had recovered his senses and managed to make the round one of the most competitive as the two men traded shots and by the end of the penultimate round it was Stamp looking worse for wear. Lebron knew he still had a chance, albeit a slim one, and in round 12 came out swinging. Stamp saw much of Lebron's offense coming and avoided the wildest of it and despite some success from the Dominican he seemed to take more than he gave with Stamp picking some more sharp counters.
By the end of the fight it seemed clear that Stamp had won, with two of the judges agreeing, though questions need to be asked of Raul Caiz Jr who amazingly had the bout 113-113. Despite the win though there is a lot for him to develop. He's not a “typical Thai” in the ring, he showed good movement and an intelligent counter-punching style but he often looked a bit too negative and his finishing still needs work. There is however a lot to like about the kid who became Thailand's “youngest world champion” with this win. Sadly we expect his reign to be a relatively poor one with little intention of facing a top contender or challenger. Instead we expect he'll be given developmental fights whilst defending his title.
Whilst the win is great for Stamp we don't think he's close to a once in a generation fighter. He is however a very talented young man who appears to have a huge fan base and a real chance to become a star in Thailand, if managed correctly.
Some fights flat out suck and when a fighter is called BJ it should come as no shock when he's involved in a really, really, sucky fight. That was the case on Saturday night in the US when Kazakhstan's Beibut Shumenov (16-2, 10) took on the hapless, and genuinely terrible, BJ Flores (31-2-1, 20). The bout didn't just suck, but it showed how inept both men were as they made for a poor excuse for a WBA “interim” Cruiserweight title contest.
Early on Flores looked the bigger man and looked like the boss as he came forward, landed hard looking right hands and looked like the boss. For the first 2 rounds Flores looked like he was going to make this very easy for himself and seemed like he was simply going to be too strong for the Kazakh.
In round 3 the fight changed with Shumenov using intelligent movement and making Flores look like an imbecile. The American plodded forward, trying to land single right hands but being made to look like a total novice. It was the change in the fight that really became rather telling as Flores, a supposed “expert analyst”, didn't seem to have any idea of how to answer the movement of Shumenov.
The movement of the Kazakh saw him claim round 4 to level up, if not secure the lead, in the fight.
Through the middle of the fight things swung from one way to another but on the whole it seemed like we had a runner versus a plodder. Shumenov was running, he wasn't hiding it and he wasn't trying to make it the basis of much offense, instead preferring single shots. Flores on the other hand plodded around the ring looking lost. Every so often Shumenov would slow down, Flores would land a couple of solid looking right hands, and take the round but neither man managed to create much momentum.
Going in to the final third it was really close. We, like the PBC announcers, had the bout even after 8 and it really was all to play for. Then we saw Shumenov dominate with his movement whilst Flores did nothing other than plod. The offense, from both, was minimal for the final 4 rounds but Shumenov seemed to be comfortably the more aggressive man, whilst also being the more negative, Flores plodded but threw little, showing his ineptitude at cutting off the ring.
Going in to the final round it was clear Flores was behind and even his corner seemed to know it as they instructed him to cut the ring. Amazingly Flores admitted what was clear and that he didn't know what to do, as he asked “how?”, as in “how do I cut the ring off?” By then it was pointless in asking, he had thrown away 3 key rounds by plodding and following Shumenov, rather than cutting the ring off. Even with his trainer's instructions before round 12, he showed no real ability to cut the ring and even lost that round as well.
Although it had been competitive, yet dull, through 8 rounds, the final 4 were clear with Flores doing nothing through them as he lost by scores of 116-112 on all 3 cards.
After the fight Shumenov seemed to indicate that his relationship with trainer Ismael Salas has become a good one, Flores however acted like a spoilt brat and complained about the tactics used by Shumenov. It was clear that whilst Shumenov wasn't “exciting” but the complaining by Flores after the bout made him seem little more than a whiny child, and one who really needs to understand the sport than he has been involved in for most of his life.
Whilst Shumenov is now the WBA “interim” Cruiserweight champion it was obvious that he wasn't a world class Cruiserweight and he should be all he can to avoid the “regular” champion Denis Lebedev, who really would chew him up and spit out if the two were to ever meet.
When highly regarded unbeaten fighters collide for a world title we expect something special. We know that sometimes bouts don't quite come alive, but we do expect something more than a complete stinker. Unfortunately later on Saturday night we got a complete crap-fest that wasn't helped by some terrible officiating by both the referee and the judges.
The bout in question saw Filipino fighter Arthur Villanueva (27-1, 14) suffer his first defeat as he came up short on the score-cards against McJoe Arroyo (17-0, 8), in a shortened IBF Super Flyweight title bout. The bout, which was taken to the score-cards in round 10, never seemed to get going, though it wasn't down to eventual loser who seemed to be in the ring with the intention of fighting.
Through the first 2 rounds there was nothing, at all, to separate the men. Villanueva was the more active but wasn't landing a significantly high number of shots than Arroyo, who seemed to perhaps land the better shots. Through 2 rounds any score was possible, from 20-18, either way, to an even 20-20.
The first genuinely clear round of the first was round 3 which seemed to be a Villanueva round with the Filipino easily out landing his Puerto Rican foe. The Filipino seemed to build on his success and appeared to just take round 4 as well, though few would complain had it gone the other way.
In round 5 we again saw the Filipino seemingly doing enough to take another close, and competitive, round. Although the action was close it wasn't pretty, it wasn't exciting and it saw both men missing significantly more than they were landing. It was, for all intents, boxing chess and very dull, disappointingly so for a Super Flyweight title fight.
Despite Villanueva having real success in rounds 3,4 and 5, his momentum was cut in round 6 as he was deducted a point for, apparently, a deliberate headclash. The call was a terrible one, and originally it seemed even the commission had thought it was a poor call, until a replay assured them that the referee was being serious. Sadly for Villanueva the deduction far from his only issue as he was cut, from a subsequent headbutt, caused by Arroyo, that went unpunished from the referee who seemed to show his bias for the fight.
Through round 7 Villanueva seemed to have blood running down down his face from the cut though, for the most part, out boxed his foe and out landed him in what was one of Villanueva's best rounds of the fight. Despite a good round for the Filipino he was taken to the doctor twice,once earlier on and then again in the rest period between the rounds, interfering with any plans his time were wanting to give him.
Although the bout had failed to come alive in the first 7 rounds it was hoped the blood may force the action to pick up. Instead it seemed to drive on the Filipino and completely kill any desire Arroyo had with the Puerto Rican essentially spoiling through out the 8th round whilst the Filipino did enough to seemingly win the round, with out needing to do much at all. The 9th was even more disappointing with Arroyo doing next to nothing other than clinching his foe and refusing to fight. It seemed as if Arroyo had mentally quit.
If Arroyo had intention of trying to win it was seen in round 10 with Villanueva starting the round well whilst Arroyo did nothing other than hold. It was a pathetic round from the Puerto Rican before the referee took Villanueva over to the corner. This time the doctor had decided enough was enough, and seemed happy to put the fans out of their collective misery.
Due to the cut coming from a headclash we went to to the score cards and, given that Arroyo had done nothing for the final 3 rounds, it seemed like we were set to get very close cards. Sadly however the judges showed that they hadn't been watching the action and turned in very disappointing cards of 97-92, 98-91 and 98-91 all in favour of Arroyo. The referee had left his mark on the bout early but the judges left an even worse taste in the mouths of those watching the bout.
We'll admit we had Villanueva in a comfortable lead though we could easily understand a 95-94 lead to Arroyo. Those cards however were a disgrace and further showed how bad officiating is in Texas, US. Sadly though the commission have refused to act in the past, and they will again ignore was was essentially a disgracefully officiated contest.
For Villanueva this would have been a disgusting way to lose his unbeaten record, we just hope it's not his last chance at having a shot at a world title. It shouldn't be, but you never know in this sport. For Arroyo, he needs to thank his lucky stars that the officials were inept and handed him the IBF Super Flyweight title.
The Chinese boxing scene has really come alive in recent years with the emergence of the Macao scene. Sadly however that rising in activity and attention has yet to really bare much in terms of success. Earlier this year it was Zou Shiming coming up short, after he tasted the world level against Amnat Ruenroeng, and we've also seen Ma Yi Ming get blitzed by Randy Petalcorin, but today it was Ik Yang (19-1-0-1, 14) who came up short as he was easily out-boxed by Cesar Rene Cuenca (48-0-0-2, 2) in a bout for the IBF Light Welterweight title.
Coming in to the bout Yang was the big betting favourite. He was the puncher, the younger fighter and the man at home. In the end however those advantages didn't matter as Cuenca was so much more skilled than Yang and it was clear from the first round.
From the off Cuenca was on his toes, landing sharp, but light, jabs and straights that found their way through to the target time and time again. The accuracy and consistency of Cuenca's shots, and the intelligence of his footwork was simply too much for Yang, who looked lost. Whilst the start was poor for the Chinese fighter it was made worse by the knockdown call he had against him when he stumbled, off balance, into the ropes.
Following the awful start for Yang things just got worse. Rounds 2,3 and 4 were all 1-sided with Cuenca being far too good for the Chinese fighter who struggled to land more than a handful of shots whilst being tagged frequently by the talented Argentinian veteran.
A rare moment of success for Yang was seen in round 5 when he managed to draw Cuenca into a short lived fire-fight that saw the Argentinian suffer a flash knockdown. It essentially neutralised the opening round knock-down against Yang but did little to turn around the 3 rounds that Yang had lost between the opening and the 5th. Even worse for Yang was the fact it seemed to further build Cuenca's resistance to exchanging shots.
In round 6 seemed to slowly though Yang failed to make the most of his opportunity to close the scores and by the end of the round it looked like Cuenca had re-found his rhythm. The following round saw Yang have one of his better rounds, and in fact it could have gone Yang's way, with the Chinese fighter landing more shots in the round he had in a number of others. Sadly for him it was another fleeting moment of success.
From round 8 to round 11 Cuenca did what he had been doing early on and he controlled Yang with complete ease. The Chinese fighter could do little other than plod forward looking like a fighter without a gameplan and with out any help from his team. The only thing Yang seemed to have was frustration, which was further hindering his cause as he threw some bizarre shots that were never likely to catch a guy like Cuenca.
Going into the final round Yang knew he'd need a KO and for the first time in the fight he fought as if he needed one. From the bell to start the round Yang fought like like a wild man, throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Cuenca who was forced to hold on numerous times. During one of those holds Yang tossed his man to the canvas, resulting in a point deduction, though it was clear that he knew it was now or never. Sadly for Yang however it wasn't to be as the clock ran down and the bell rang to end the fight.
For Yang this loss should send him down the rankings though given his style and popularity he should be involved in some exciting bouts whilst maybe even competing in and around the OPBF level, which could make for some very interesting fights. As for Cuenca this win opens up a lot of possibly interesting match ups and despite his lack of a punch it seems clear it's going to take a very good fighter to beat him.
The search for the second Chinese world champion, sadly, continues.
At one point, a few years ago, Ruslan Chagaev (34-2-1, 21) was considered one of the best Heavyweights on the planet. Today he's a lowly regarded fighter in the much derided Heavyweight division. Despite the relatively low standing that Chagaev has he does hold the WBA title and, several years beyond his prime, he does still garner some attention courtesy of his title.
Late on Friday in Germany the Uzbek recorded the first defense of his title has he made incredibly light work of Franceso Pianeta (31-2-1, 17) who gave one of the most pitiful efforts in a Heavyweight world title bout.
The two men came out battling with their southpaw jabs early on though within 30 seconds or so it was clear that Pianeta was intimidated by the champion and was backed up by Chagaev, despite the fact the champion didn't throw a really meaningful punch. It didn't take for that to change and when Chagaev landed his first left hand of note the challenger went down, after less than a minute.
Pianeta looked in pain but got to his feet in an attempt to fight back against the Uzbek champion. That fight back however consisted of little it wasn't long until he was backed up again and hurt once more. Only seconds later a couple of left hooks, the second of which was a glancing blow, sent Pianeta down for the second time. This time he was unable to continue, with the bout being waved off as he got to his feet.
For Chagaev, the only Asian to ever become a Heavyweight world champion, this was an impressive result but one that really belies the fact that Pianeta was simply terrible. It told us nothing about what Chagaev has left and instead just made it clear that Pianeta should never get a shot at any world class fighter ever again. His punch resistance is simply non-existent.
Over the last few years the lower weight classes have given us some of the best fights. We got another of those earlier today as WBO Light Flyweight champion Donnie Nietes (36-1-4, 21) successfully defended his title in a 12 round war with tough Mexican Francisco Rodriguez Jr (17-3-1, 11).
The first minute of the fight was slow, really slow. From then on however the action picked up and by the end of the opening stanza it seemed we may have been heading towards a FOTY contender. The action was forced by Rodriguez, who kept coming forward, and Neites responded by holding his feet and going toe-to-toe with the Mexican, landing some very sharp and accurate shots.
In the second round we saw real drama as Nietes, who had looked great for the first 2 minutes, was tagged by a right hand. The shot seemed to stun him for a second or two as he was forced to hold on and see out the round that could easily have been stolen from him. The effects of the shots at the end of round 2 seemed to still be taking their toll early in round 3 as Nietes began to fight on the back foot and no get dragged into a relentless brawl with the Mexican. The round was one of the bouts closest and could have gone either way.
Nietes's stemmed the tide slightly in round 4 as he began finding his range and timing Rodriguez with counters. The Mexican kept bringing the pressure though he seemed to struggle to actually land much in turned of punches whilst Nietes managed to get to the body of the challenger. It was a tough round for Nietes but one that he seemed to just win.
Through 4 rounds the fight was close though in the 5th round it seemed that the Filipino changed his tactics, began to move more and draw Rodriguez on to his shots. It was an excellent change from the experienced champion who quickly found a home for his uppercut which landed almost at will through out the round. It was a shot that made the most of Rodriguez's flaws and seemed to take some of the fight out of the challenger who was again second best in the 6th round.
Going into the second half of the fight it seemed like Nietes was going to run away with it though the Mexican managed to fight back well in round 7 and again in round 8 as the Mexican found a second wind and kept the rounds ultra-competitive. It was hard work for both and it was being fought at a gruelling pace with Rodriguez refusing to take a backwards step and Neites being forced to fight fire with fire.
The pace of the fight began to take it's toll on both men in round 9 with both visibly slowing and tiring. Despite the place slowing the level of skill on offer was still high and both had their moments with combinations and eye catching shots. Unfortunately for the Mexican however it seemed he was in a hole and was going to need to do a lot to turn things around. The challenger tried in round 10 though Neites managed to find the space to get his jab going, the energy to get on his toes and do enough to just nick a close round, though one that could easily have swung the other way.
Nietes began round 11 boxing on the back foot and having real success with his counters whilst Rodriguez's face began to look more and more swollen. The Mexican proved his toughness by continuing to come forward but for 2 minutes of the round he was second best. The final minute however saw the round swing with Nietes getting hurt with a body shot and going on the retreat whilst holding and spoiling. It was a round that could have gone either way though seemed to suggest that Nietes could be in trouble in the final round.
Going into the final round it was clear that Rodriguez would need a KO to win, he had made a lot of rounds close but as the visitor, and challenger, it was unlikely that he was going to get those rounds in his favour. Unfortunately for him he seemed to have the fight take out of him as Neites caught him early in the round and appeared to leave him with a broken nose. From then on the two did little other than move around each other until Rodriguez came forward very late in the round, by then however it was too little too late.
Given the fact there had been numerous close rounds we were expecting a series of “close but competitive” looking cards in favour of the Filipino. Sadly however only one card showed the competitive nature of the bout as the judges cards read 115-113, 119-109 and 118-110. They had all got the right guy winning, but at least two of those cards failed to show any real fairness of the bout we had witnessed.
The win for Nietes cements his position as one of the top Light Flyweights on the planet, the question however is where does he go next? There is talk of a move to Flyweight for a potential clash with Roman Gonzalez however unification bouts with Pedro Guevara, Ryoichi Taguchi and Javier Mendoza would also being attractive match ups, as would an all-Filipino contest with the hard hitting Jonathan Taconing.
As for Rodriguez we hope to see him back in the ring as soon as his nose recovers, though maybe at a lower level as he's had a lot of gruelling fights in recent times and his body needs an easy fight or two before another fight at the championship level. We also expect to see him move up to Flyweight sooner rather than later.
Late on Saturday we saw yet another Filipino fighter feel the pain of fighting on the road and being up against more than just the opponent. Unlike last weekend, the fight didn't see the referee allow a fighter to break the rules at will, but the judging certainly left something of a foul taste.
The bout in question was a bout for the WBO “interim” Super Flyweight title and was ordered by the WBO, who set up the fight due to an injury to champion Naoya Inoue, who made the right decision to order an interim title fight. The fighters, Warlito Parrenas (24-6-1, 21) and David Carmona (19-2-5, 8), may not be the best in the division but they put on a good fight, albeit one that didn't get the right result.
From the opening round it seemed clear the fighters were very different men. In the ring Carmona was the “better boxer”, the sharp puncher and the more technically correct of the two men, Parrenas however showed little regard to the correct but “pitty patty” shots of the Mexican and instead the Filipino tried to make the fight into a battle and enforce his style on to the bout.
Early on it was Parrenas' style that was in charge of the action with the Filipino walking forward, stalking his man and and landing his trademark power shots. Those shots early saw him establishing the early lead, a lead that was extenuated by a knockdown he scored in the second round.
The first round that could have gone to the Mexican was round 3, though even that was close and won on the back foot, a round that could easily have gone to the Filipino who looked stronger and more determined than the Mexican fighter. It was clear, however, that round 4 belonged to the Mexican who had managed to cut the gap on the score cards with good boxing, moving and making Parrenas look a little bit slow and clumsy. It was exactly what Carmona had to do.
Carmona's continued to make Parrenas look second best in round 5 with the Filipino clearly missing numerous times and being tagged by clean, but light, shots from the home fighter. Parrenas did have his moments but it was clear that he was second best as Carmona managed to level off the scores and get rid of the 3 point hole he had found himself in.
In round 6 Parrenas managed to make early inroads, landing an uppercut early on that appeared to shake Carmona slightly and lead to more success for the Filipino slugger who seemed to stem the tide from the previous 3 rounds. Carmona however settled back to his boxing by the end of the round and seemed to accept that he was going to have to move, a lot, just to survive the bout with the powerful Pinoy. Parrenas started round 7 with the same intention he had shown in round 6 and went off fast after the Mexican who was beginning to run and hold more than fight. It still seemed like Carmona was the better “boxer” but he was unable to use many of his skills as Parrenas looked to bully him and intimidate him. Notably, for Carmona, he did manage to end round 7 well, but for the most part seemed to come off second best.
Carmona's success late in round 7 seemed to continue in round 8, though Parrenas did well to establish himself through the middle of the round. Carmona, to his credit, didn't seem to worry as Parrenas came at him and instead the Mexican got back to hitting on the move, making Parrenas chase him. It was one of the bouts closest rounds but a round that would likely go to the home fighter, especially considering a late, eye catching, flurry that he landed. Carmona failed to build on his late success and began to look like he was slowing and running out of ideas, Parrenas wasn't changing anything about what he was doing but it didn't seem like he needed to, as the Filipino was in the lead and seemingly walking down his Mexican foe.
Going into final few rounds it seemed clear that Carmona would have to pull something out of the bag. He tried in round 10, and landed most of the telling blows late on, though again it was a case of much of his work coming too late to really steal the round. The 11th was another that Parrenas seemed to win with a tiring Carmona offering little in terms of quality or quantity against the big punching Filipino, who lacked accuracy but certainly landed the better shots. Sadly for Parrenas he too was looking like he was running out of steam and he wasn't helped by the referee who seemed to end the round a few seconds early, just as Carmona seemed to wobble.
It seemed, in round 12, that Parrenas was wary of fighting on foreign soil and swung for the fences seeking a final round knockout. From a neutral point of view it seemed he had a comfortable lead but, as we all know, being the away fighter can sometimes make winning on the cards very difficult. Unfortunately for Parrenas he was unable to get the knockout that he was seeking, though he did land many of the rounds most notable shots in what seemed like another clear round for the Filipino slugger.
Unfortunately for Parrenas he couldn't do enough to convince the judge that he deserved the win, instead the decided on a split decision draw, a very hard to swallow result given the knockdown by Parrenas early in the bout.
Neither man will be happy at the result, that's a given. It is however a result that could easily lead to a rematch. It could also see either of them becoming the next option for Naoya Inoue, who was supposed to fight the winner in 90 days from this bout. The one thing it does, for both men, is keeps them in the hunt for another shot, with neither really falling down the pecking order.
The other thing it does, which maybe more interesting to some fans, is it seemingly leaves Inoue without a clear dance partner. Instead it seems that Inoue may be able to return sooner than originally thought, possibly in September, and may find himself with a voluntary defense given that his mandatory challenger isn't clear. He may face either of these two, or the WBO may allow him to face someone of his choosing, which could be a more interesting option for fans and the fighter.
The judges, as they often do, got this wrong and Parrenas certainly has every right to feel aggrieved, something that was on his face after the cards had been read. He may however be able to get another big fight considering his style and the excitement he brought to this bout. As for Carmona it's hard to see where he goes after this somewhat negative performance that saw him being lucky to be the home fighter.
Thai fighter Knockout CP Freshmart (11-0, 6) may well have the best name in professional boxing but today he proved he was more than just a great name as he dominated dangerous Venezuelan Alexis Diaz (16-1, 10) in what was a surprisingly 1-sided affair.
Knockout, defending his WBA “interim” Minimumweight title for the second time, had come into the bout amid jokes of a name change to “Unanimous Decision CP Freshmart”. Today however he seemed to take those jokes personally and made sure that he wasn't going to be taken the distance again.
The opening round was a relatively typical feeling out round. Knockout came forward behind hig high guard looking to get a feel for the loose looking Diaz. Diaz looked good, he showed a nice array of shots and nice speed, but seemed to struggle to get the respect of Knockout who took shots on the gloves and managed to land some of his own right hands.
The sound round saw the action hotting up from the off with both letting their hands go more freely. Once again however it seemed that Diaz struggling to land much clean whilst Knockout, who looked crude at times, easily found a home for his right hand. More impressively from Knockout's point of view was how easily he was putting Diaz under pressure and it seemed like Diaz was being forced to work hard to create any real space between the two men.
The ease with which Knockout was applying pressure began to really tell in round 3 as he swarmed Diaz, forcing his will on the Venezuelan who had no real answer for the aggression of knockout. The pressure came with real spite from the Thai who was landing nasty right hands upstairs and downstairs and appeared to be bullying the visitor who was visibly wilting before a body shot sent him down late in the round. Had the bell not come seconds after Diaz had got to his feet it's likely that he'd have been stopped there and then. Instead the bell came and gave Diaz some respite from the onslaught that had begun to really break him down.
Following the third round it was clear that Diaz was going to need to change something quickly if he was to turn things around. Unfortunately for him he couldn't and Knockout was quick to resume his assault. The best Diaz could muster was some clinches to try and slow the Thai but Knockout wasn't to be denied. The champion managed to score his second knockdown with more body shots to a weak looking Diaz who recovered to his feet but had nothing to stop Knockout's follow up assault which forced the referee to intervene as the Venezuelan was heading down for the third time in the bout.
After the bout the handlers of Knockout appeared to call out South African fighter Hekkie Budler. Budler, the WBA “regular” champion is known to have been a long term target of Knockout and on this performance it's fair to say the Thai could be avoided by Budler who will bot be wanting to go to Thailand to defend his title. It's likely to come down to the WBA to enforce a mandatory between the two but it's very clear that Knockouts team will do their best to convince the WBA to “do the right thing”.
For Diaz this set back is massively disappointing. We had been impressed with footage of the visitor but it seemed that he had no idea how to cope with the pressure of offense of Knockout and the way he wilted was terribly disappointing, especially given his recent victories and his apparent confidence in the build up to the bout.
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.