Earlier today in Thailand fans saw WBA Minimumweight champion Knockout CP Freshmart (21-0, 7) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] record his 9th defense, as he over-came Japanese veteran Norihito Tanaka (19-8, 10) [田中教仁], with a clear decision.
Early on Tanaka employed a smart gameplan, making Knockout chase him and miss, lining up some solid looking counter right hands, some effective jabs and one or two very good looking uppercuts. Despite the success of the challenger he never made anything clear, and always seemed to be doing more to frustrate, rather than putting his foot down in any way.
Sadly for Tanaka the champion wasn't in the mood to play about, and went after him with more intensity in rounds 3, dropping the challenger at the end of the round. Tanaka wasn't hurt, but from then on it always seemed like Knockout not only had the answers for the challenger, but had too much of everything for him.
Rounds 4 and 5 were torrid affairs for Tanaka, who had to show his toughness to see out some rocky spells, before the bout started to peter out a bit, with Tanaka becoming more and more negative. Late in round 7 we saw a lot of negative movement from Tanaka who seemed to be looking to stay safe, rather than take risks.
The tactics of Knockout saw him pressing forward through out the bout, and in the middle rounds his body work really had taken much of the fight out of the challenger. Sadly though Knockout never found that extra gear to really go for the finish, something that has been missing from his game for quite a while. He was dominant through out, but never looked like a man who should carry the "Knockout" moniker.
After 12 rounds the scorecards weren't an issue, with the judges scoring the bout 120-107, twice, and 119-108.
For Tanaka this is likely to be his only world title bout, and his loss sees Japanese fighters falling to 0-25-1 in world title bouts in Thailand. As for Knockout it potentially moves him towards a big fight, but it's hard to imagine top names travelling to face him in the outdoor conditions of Thailand any time soon.
Unbeaten WBA Minimumweight champion Knockout CP Freshmart (20-0, 7) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] may well be feeling rather fortune right now, following his latest world title defense. A defense that very nearly saw him coming undone to unheralded Filipino challenger ArAr Andales (10-1, 2) in a bout that was much more exciting than many would have anticipated. Not only was it a fun fight to watch, but it was also another that showed just how limited the unbeaten world champion really is.
From the opening round it was clear Andales had no real respect for Knockout, and was entering as the scared little teenager that many anticipated. Instead he entered the bout as the unbeaten challenger, hungry to become champion. Knockout, to his credit, tried to Andales into his shell early on, and seemed to be landing the bigger punches in the early going, with Andales' shots literally bouncing off the champion.
After just a few rounds however Knockout changed tactics.Rather than engaging in a fight with the hungry and energetic Andales he began to revert to type, and spoil the fight. That's something we've seen a lot from Knockout in recent fights and something he really relied on when it was clear Andales wasn't going to be discouraged by his power. Instead of being fought off it was often Andales pressing the action, making a fight of things and letting his hands go whilst Knockout held and tried to stifle the challenger.
The spoiling of Knockout wasn't incessant, but it was enough to give the feeling that he was feeling the heat, much more so than the challenger, who was really stepping up to the occasion.
In round 7 it was clear that Knockout was being given a much sterner test than he or his team had anticipated. Andales lacked the power to hurt him with a single shot, but was landing a lot clean and was really in his face. A minor headclash part way through the round saw both men being told to keep their heads apart as they fought at close range. Only a few moments later Knockout was bleeding from his right eye. It didn't appear to be from the headclash, but it clearly bothered the champion, who stepped up his spoiling tactics. The following round Knockout's left eye would be opened up as well. This was worse than the cut to the right eye and seemed to come from a punch, during a really ugly, mauling sequence.
This cut led referee to take the champion to the doctor, who waved the bout off. Despite no clear headclash causing the cut we were taken to the score cards for a technical decision. Sadly for Andales this was never going to go his way and all 3 judges scored the bout to the local fighter, including one judge gave Andales just a single round and made it clear that he wasn't paying attention to the in ring action.
The official cards were 77-75, 78-74 and 79-73, all in favour of Knockout, who really was fortunate to keep his title here.
Although a very talented fighter this is the 4th straight under-whelming performance from the Thai, who showed a real lack of fire when put under some pressure. As for Andales this might be his first loss, but the teenager appears to be a future world champion in the making and we really hope this loss doesn't discourage him from the sport, as he is a real talent.
In 2016 we saw the WBA Minimumweight title being won by Knockout CP Freshmart (19-0, 7) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] as he over-came Nicaraguan fighter Byron Rojas (25-4-3, 11) in a mandatory title fight. Today the two men met again, this time with Rojas as the mandatory challenger to Knockout's title. Sadly however the bout was an unmemorable wrestle-fest, much like their first, with fouls, holding, lunging, and very messy work through out, much like their first bout which started well but became one of the most gruelling 12 round watches of recent memory.
Rojas started this bout looking sensational. He looked sharp, huge and powerful as he established his work very early, fighting at a high work rate and almost coming out like a fighter who knew he had to make an early impression. By round 2 however that work rate had slowed, and it allowed Knockout to get inside and work away up close, going to the body of the challenger, and even hurting him with a body shot.
Sadly round 3 was the start of the bouts messy down fall, with Rojas struggling to create distance, and Knockout doing everything he could to get inside, leading with the head, going low and generally spoiling. It made life difficult fro Rojas who was unable to create space, and often unable to free himself from the holding of Knockout.
Rounds 4,5 and 6 all followed a similar pattern, with a lot of holding and messy action, neither man clearly distinguishing themselves from the other. It seemed, perhaps, that Knockout was edging them, but a strong case could be that he was also the one responsible for the lack of action with Rojas at least looking to fight, rather than wrestle. Sadly for Rojas his frustrations became clear in round 7 when he suffered a cut to his right eye and seemed to argue with the referee. It seemed Rojas had also gotten annoyed by the style of the fight.
Knockout Finally started to have eye catching success in round 8, and that success lead to more success in rounds 9 and 10 as he began to let combinations go, and slurry the Nicaraguan, who looked tired, and frustrated. It seemed like Knockout wanted to go for the finish, and make a statement. In round 11 however Rojas began to land clean shots, including a massive right hand that would have taken down a lesser man, that was the start of a good round for Rojas who seemed to also do enough to take the final round, as Knockout cruised through the last 3 minutes.
At the final bell Knockout rush to celebrate in the corner whilst Rojas seemed to know he wasn't getting the decision. Something that was confirmed when the cards were read out as 115-113, 117-111 and 116-112, all to Knockout who retained his title, but once again bored fans.
For a fighter with such a great moniker Knockout really has failed to deliver excitement in recent bouts, and we do wonder how good he really is. On this performance he's better than Rojas, but not by a lot, and he's certainly not an exciting fighter to watch
After a string of great Minimumweight title fights in recent years, such as the recent contests between Hiroto Kyoguchi and Vince Parras and Ryuya Yamanaka and Vic Saludar we got a total stinker today. The bout saw WBA Minimumweight champion Knockout CP Freshmart (18-0, 7) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] battle against against "interim" champion Xiong Zhao Zhong (27-8-1, 14) [熊朝忠] in China, in what was Knockout's first bout outside of Thailand. Sadly what looked like it could have been a good bout just never really got going and ended up being a slow, dull and actionless affair.
The early rounds looked like Knockout was going through the motions. He gave away the first two rounds on our cards without putting up any sort of an effort. It looked like he was on cruise control whilst Zhong did just enough, with his picking and poking, to out work the inactive Thai. It was an embarrassing start from both men given the world title status of this bout, but thankfully the bout did pick up pace in round 3 when Knockout showed a few glimpses of his ability. The Thai finally looked like he had signs of life.
Round 4 was another where Knockout made it easy to give the round to the Chinese fighter. The Thai wasn't actionless but didn't ever press the fight like he could have. It was clear when he did land that Zhong dislikes the sting on his shots, but he rarely put his shots together. That changed slightly in round 5, when Knockout did try to put punches together, but struggled to land them as the small Zhong used his lack of size to avoid the shots of Knockout.
With the styles not gelling in the first half of the fight things only got worse as the two men began to wrestling more and more. The exertion of not boxing seemed to take it's toll on both men who fell into each other repeatedly, got too close and really failed to find any spark. At distance the only work of any note was Zhong's jab, often thrown as he came in with little behind it, whilst on the inside neither man had any real success landing anything relevant. Even the pro-Chinese fans seemed to have been bored, despite their man being involved in the fight.
At the end of 12 rounds it was hard to believe anyone really card about the contest any more, though credit to the judges who showed their commitment to the cause by handing in complete scorecards. They were read out as 118-110, twice, and 116-112 all in favour of Knockout CP Freshmart, who seemed to be so fed up that he even failed to celebrate after the bout.
Despite the win Knockout will have done himself and his career no good here, and no one will be in a rush to see his next bout. Zhong on the other hand will likely be retiring, with his 36th birthday just a few short months away.
The Minimumweight division has often been downplayed by Western fight fans due to a lack of depth, as well as the size of the fighters plying their trade down at the 105lb limit. We do however live in a bit of a divisional golden age with a number of top fighters, not just the champions, and currently the top contenders are generally very good fighters, with the division have talented contenders from both Asia and Latin America,
That mixture of good champions and good contenders was seen again earlier today as WBA Minimumweight champion Knockout CP Freshmart (17-0, 7) retained his title with an expectedly tough bout against Filipino challenger Toto Landero (10-2-2, 2), with Landero proving he was world class through out the bout. That's despite the fact the challenger entered as a bit of an unknown, with his most notable results being a stoppage loss at domestic level to Joey Canoy and his most notable wins coming against Vic Saludar and Rolly Sumalpong.
The challenger started fantastically, moving well,picking his spots and landing some eye catching combinations which took advantage of Knockout's less that great defense. The champion came foreward a lot, but looked and sluggish in the early moments as Landero rose to the occassion and put on a show case of his ability. The good start from the Filipino came to an end in round 3, as Knockout upped the pressure and showed why he's a world champion. It was however a bit of a blip as Landero got back to work and reeled off not only a comeback round, but several of them as he kept his nose in front, and put Knockout in a hole that he was going to have to fight his way out of.
Knowing he was behind as we entered the second half of the fight Knockout upped his pace, really hammering some heavy shots at Landero in the clinche and slowing his man with solid body blows. It began a surge from the champion, which was particularly impressive in round 9 as it looked like he was beginning to dismantle the challenger, who had to show incredible heart to see off the charge.
As it looked like Knockout was heading towards a late stoppage the challenger not only gritted his teeth and saw out the storm, but had his second wind, landing some smart counters, and made Knockout look very crude at times, as the champion's relative lack of pace showed. The desire from the champion to make a statement wasn't there and instead Landero finished the bout looking the stronger man, and making a solid claim to have won the fight. Sadly however it wasn't to be, as the judges gave the decision to the Thai, with 1 judge only giving Landero a single round.
The story out of Thailand is that Knockout will now face Xiong Zhao Zhong in his next defense, which was reportedly signed before this bout took place, and it may well have been on the Thai's mind through out this bout. For Landero there will be not only disappointment at not winning, but also some anger at the score cards, which we understand were much wider than the action in the ring suggested. Thankfully for the Filipino he is still very young, and given this performance cements himself as a top contender who will remain in the mix for another title fight down the line.
It's fair to say today, July 15th 2017, is a busy day in world boxing with a number of notable shows taking place around the globe. The first of those was in Thailand where WBA Minimumweight champion Knockout CP Freshmart (16-0, 7) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] retained his title, and over-came mandatory challenger Rey Loreto (23-14, 15) in a hard fought decision.
The began with the Filipino looking strong. His trademark aggression and heavy hands were felt early on and he seemed to cause facial damage to Freshmart very early in the fight, with the Thai fighting through a swollen left eye from the early stages.
After 3 rounds it looked like Loreto was going to be playing the upsetter role once again, as he has a number of times before. Sadly though for him Knockout found a home for his straight right hand to the body, and he milked the shot, landing a number of gut busting blows. They seemed to slow Loreto in rounds 4 and 5 with the effects lasting through the contest, and taking the zip of the Filipino, who struggled to control range.
Loreto had moments, where he would charge in and land nice combinations, but missed too frequently and took too many hard and clean counters in the middle rounds to win them, even though he was often the man on the front foot.
Knockout wasn't just winning round,s but was essentially doing it through one eye, and had a stand out moment in round 9, when he dropped Loreto with a right hand. It was “only” a 10-8 round but essentially sealed him the contest, barring an unlikely KO from the Filipino. Rounds 10 and 11 were again rounds where Knockout landed the more telling single blows, even if he did look to stall at times, before almost giving away round 12, knowing the win was in the bag.
The decision, as expected, favoured the Thai with no real complaints, he had taken the bulk of the rounds and secured that 10-8 round as well. As a result the judges turned in cards of 117-110, twice, and 115-113, all in favour of the Thai world champion.
As a result of the decision Knockout has now scored 3 defenses of the WBA title, to add to 3 defenses of the interim title that he held previously. As for Loreto the bout sees his 7 fight winning run come to an end, and shows the problem with blowing opponents away, as he had only got 9 rounds in his last 4 fights, and 29 rounds in the last 4 years. Hopefully Loreto will bounce back from the defeat a better fighter, because he's fun to watch,. But today it was Knockout walking away with the spoils.
Earlier today we saw Thailand's talented Knockout CP Freshmart (15-0, 7) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] record his second defence of the WBA Minimumweight title as he scored a 5th round KO win over over-matched Japanese challenger Go Odaira (13-5-3, 1) [大平 剛], who suffered his third stoppage loss at world level.
The bout saw Odaira begin by using his movement, using his speed to to try and neutralise the pressure of Knockout, who was pressing from the very early stages. It turned out not to be the best tactic with Knockout landing almost all the blows of note during the round. The lack of success from Odaira forced a tactical change from the challenger who decided to stand his ground more in round 2 and had some success, particularly from his straight left hand, though he left himself in Knockout's wheel yard and the Thai dominated much of the round.
Odaira tried to turn pure counter puncher in round 3 but was again unable to have the success of the Thai who found a way to hammer home heavy shots, particularly to the body and he seemed to hurt Odaira late in the round. It appeared as if Knockout knew he had hurt Odaira as he started the 4th round fast and despite a spirited fight back from the challenger it wasn't long until Odaira was down, suffering his first knockdown of the fight.
Knockout managed to see out the remaining time in round 4 but Knockout had his man worked out and sensed a stoppage was close. It was stoppage that would come not long into round 5 as Knockout went hunting and dropped Odaira with a beautiful 3 punch combination. This time Odaira would stay down.
With the win for Knockout we've now seen Japanese fighters go 0-22-1 in world title fights on Thai soil and it's almost certainly going to be the end of Odaira's world title dreams. The performance from Knockout was a solid one but with a number of rising fighters at 105lbs it may now be that he has to face some of the more testing contenders, rather than the likes of Odaira and Shin Ono, who he defended the title against late last year.
The Minimumweight division might be one of the more over-looked divisions in the sport but it's one which has plenty to be interested in, with the exciting array of fighters like Katsunari Takayama, Wanheng Menayothin, Jose Argumedo and Knockout CP Freshmart.
Today we saw one of those men, Knockout CP Freshmart (14-0, 6), record his first defense of the WBA title and score his third unanimous decision win of the year as he took a clear victory over Japanese challenger Shin Ono (19-8-3, 3).
Coming in to the bout many, including ourselves, had wondered how Ono had deserved a world title fight given he had come up short in recent bouts to Tatsuya Fukuhara, a more deserving world title challenger, and Kenichi Horikawa in Japanese domestic title bouts. Despite those questions Ono put up a spirited and decent effort against Knockout.
The bout started very slowly with Ono using his longer reach and southpaw stance to control the range off his jab. Knockout did apply some pressure during those early stages but it was very much a scouting mission from the champion who seemingly wanted to get a read on Ono's speed, power and movement.
In round 3 the fight flipped on it's head as Knockout moved into second gear and pressed the action more, landing right hands at will whilst Ono seemed to look lost and was becoming unsure of himself. That lack of confidence was again seen in round 4, though Ono did fire back a bit and seemed to hurt Knockout at one point, arguably scoring a flash knockdown of the Thai that was ruled a slip. Sadly for Ono this success seemed to just irritate Knockout who continued to dominate as he racked up rounds 6 and 7 and seemed to come close to dropping Ono on several occassions.
After dominating much of the fight Knockout began to look seriously tired as we began to approach the championship rounds and in the 8th and 9th he looked like he had run out of ideas, and steam. It seemed the perfect time for Ono to step up the action but unfortunately for him he was unable to with Knockout neutralising almost everything with repeated clinches.
By the time round 10 came along Knockout appeared to have recovered and again had some pepper on his shots, dropping Ono with a solid left hand to score the only knockdown of the fight. The challenger got to his feet but it seemed to put him on the retreat for the rest of the round and it was clear that he didn't want to taste Knockout's power any time soon.
Sadly for the challenger the final rounds were “now or never” and he tamely seemed to suggest his choice was “never” with little real urgency until the final 30 seconds when he began swinging for fence and looking for a huge game changer, by then though he had left him self too little time.
Although Ono had put up a spirited effort, at times, he was widely beaten on the cards with scores of 118-109, 117-111 and 118-110, but certainly earned respect with his performance. For Knockout a question needs to be asked about his stamina and this was a second successive fight where he was flagging late. It could be that his style needs taming to preserve energy or perhaps he's struggling to make 105lbs and a move up to Light Flyweight would be a smart move for the Thai. We'll see what he does in the new year but it's fair to say there is serious work to do in the future.
Every so often we look forward to a fight with the expectation that it will be a modern day classic. On paper the styles should work, the reward for the winner should drive both on to perform to their best and for some reason their appears to be everything there for something special
Sadly they don't all go the way we expect,and that was the case earlier today when Knockout CP Freshmart (13-0, 6) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] battled Byron Rojas (17-3-3-1, 8) to become the true WBA Minimumweight champion.. On paper the bout had the reward of being the only recognised WBA champion at 105lbs, it had two aggressively minded men and it had the attention of the hardcore fans, not just the local fans of the two fighters, from Thailand and Nicaragua.
Sadly however the bout ended up being mostly a torturous affair with several things ruining what should have been a great fight.
The bout started fast, and Rojas came out like a man on a mission in the opening round before Knockout started to return fire in an opening round that seemed to suggest we were on to something special. The second round was also promising with Knockout showing a fast start and bullying the Nicaraguan fighter around with his physical strength and power.
Sadly the bout then went down hill with both quickly looking tired and as if the unique conditions in Thailand had quickly taken it's toll on both fighters who spend much of the next 10 rounds holding, wresting, spoiling and generally destroying the memories the first two rounds. It seemed that neither could make more than a spurt of boxing in every round, and when they managed that the other found a way to kill the momentum.
With both holding and wrestling the bout became a farcical mess with the referee being just as busy, if not busier, than the two fighters. Had that just been a few of the later rounds then it'd have been fair enough, but with it being vast swathes of the bout it left everyone feeling disappointed.
The holding did keep things competitive, but it was more due to the lack of action that things were close, rather than the back and forth of a truly good fight. It was due to it being a “competitive mess” that their was some genuine intrigue in the scorecards, which could have been completely all over the place. Surprisingly however there were all the same, 115-113 to Knockout CP Freshmart.
Given the expectation of the bout this stank, and despite the scorecards we don't imagine many fans will be calling for a rematch. Both men were guilty of holding, the conditions did the bout no favours but they are merely excuses for a bout that quickly became disjointed and was rarely enjoyable.
In October 2014 Thai fans saw former Muay Thai great Knockout CP Freshmart (12-0, 6) take a very competitive decision win over talented Nicaraguan Carlos Buitrago (28-2-1-1, 16) to claim the WBA "interim" Minimumweight title. The bout was ultra-competitive with all 3 judges scoring it 115-113 to Knockout, though many suggested that Thai won only because of the scoring in his homeland.
Today, more than a year after their first bout, the two men faced off for a second time and this time there was no doubting the winner with Knockout taking a clear and comprehensive decision win over a lacklustre Buitrago, to claim the WBA “regular” title, and become the mandatory for the WBA “super” title.
The fight started well for the visitor who seemed to be employing a smart game plan and used his reach well, launching the jab against the smaller Knockout. It was however a scouting mission of sorts from the Thai who seemed content to lose the round and see what his foe had in the locker, something we've seen Knockout do in the past.
Following the scouting mission Knockout used his knowledge well and began to go through the gears,clearly winning round as he began to come in quicker and landed some solid right hands as well as hard thudding jabs. Not only was the Thai impressing with his offensive work but his defense was also intelligent, with his head movement being very impressive and often making Buitrago look silly.
From the second round to round 7 it was hard to even make a case of giving a round to the visitor who looked dejected and as if he was out of ideas. He was losing the battle of jabs, eating hard right hands and being forced to take solid jabs to the midsection, something that must have been sickening in the high temperatures that the men were fighting in. Not only was Buitrago out of ideas but it was looking clear as he was backing up whenever Knockout wanted him to and was really looking frustrated.
In round 8 both began to look tired, for Knockout it wasn't a problem, he had run up a huge lead and could afford to slow down, but Buitrago, who needed to take advantage, still seemed unable to find anything to trouble the Thai. The pace continued to slow through rounds 9 and 10 with both happy to fall into a clinch and happy to throw less. Again for the Thai it was fine, he seemed to be doing enough to win the rounds without being forced out of his comfort zone, for Buitrago however it was a case of failing to take advantage of the chance to turn the momentum around.
Having pretty much won 9 successive rounds Knockout continued to slow, completely taking his foot off the gas in the final couple of rounds, where he seemed to prefer to clinch, than really fight. He had the luxury of the huge lead on the cards and seemed happy enough to not worry about the rounds, even then they were still competitive and could have gone the Thai's way without too much of an argument.
As the scorecards were read it seemed clear who had won the bout, and despite the cards being read only in Thai there was no doubting the scores were all in favour of the home fighter, who was given the unanimous decision with scores of 119-109 and 117-111, twice. Scores that were fair and reflected the one sided nature of 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.