Earlier today fight fans saw what is likely to be the end of the round for a modern day legend, and saw an unbeaten champion secure the biggest win of their career, and potentially even take the proverbial touch from the man the beat.
The bout in question saw WBA Minimumweight "super" champion Knockout CP Freshmart (24-0, 9) retain his title with a clear, yet somewhat competitive, decision win against former long term WBC champion Wanheng Menayothin (55-3-0-1, 19), who now seems set to ride off into the sunset.
The two men, who know each other well and have partaken in exhibitions and public spars in the past, started slowly with both looking to establish their jabs. As the rounds went on however Knockout always seemed to have an extra gear and that little bit more energy than the 36 year old faded former champion. Wanheng never looked outclassed as such, but was out worked, and out hustled, and simply out-youthed essentially.
The younger, bigger, Knockout established himself in rounds 2 and 3, and whilst Wanheng would always fire back, and land some glorious counter shots, he could never keep up the intensity or work rate needed to really change the course of the bout, at leats not until it was too late.
After 6 rounds it was clear Knockout was winning, and although Wanheng did mount something of a comeback in the second half of the bout, it always seemed like Knockout had control over things, regularly smiling at his foe. It didn't seem so much like a taunting smile, but almost like Knockout was enjoying having a fight with someone who is very much a close friend and a legend of the lower weights. He seemed to be enjoying every moment of the fight, and having questions asked of his boxing ability, and answering them.
By the 12 round it really didn't feel like there had been much drama, though there was some very nice sequences of action from both in the second half of the bout. It did however feel like their was a clear winner, with Knockout comfortably winning, despite losing a few rounds here and there. The was no doubting this was one of, if not the, most complete performance of his career, and it almost seemed like being in their with someone he respected drew the best from him. It was, admittedly, a faded Wanheng, but still Wanheng, and still a man Knockout clearly regards in high esteem.
When we went to the scorecards, their no doubting who the rightful winner was, and with scores of 116-112, 117-111 and 119-109, Knockout retained his title. The 119-109 seemed very harsh against Wanheng, but the other two scores pretty much matched our, at 117-113.
Their is a feel that had this bout taken place 3 or 4 years ago, when Wanheng was still in the back end of his prime, he likely would have won. The 36 year old Wanheng we saw today however has slipped a long way, and simply lacked the fire, combinations and drive that had seen him have such a lengthy WBC title reign.
Earlier today fight fans in Thailand saw WBA Minimumweight "Super" champion Knockout CP Freshmart (23-0, 9) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] score his third defense of the "super" title as he stopped Filipino challenger Robert Paradero (18-2, 12) in 5 rounds in Thailand.
The bout started relatively slowly with Knockout looking to see what Paradero was bringing to the ring. To his credit Paradero did seem to bring real ambition and hunger, and he landed some really eye catching shots, using his reach and speed really well in the opening round, and backing up Knockout several times. It seemed, through the first round, as if the champion could be having his unbeaten record put under some serious threat. To his credit however Knockout showed great composure, and was able to cover up against the big shots of Paradero.
The challenger fought round 2 much like he had fought the opening round, but Knockout was starting to settle himself, landing some good jabs and nice counter right hands. He was slowly starting to get Paradero's respect, but the Filipino had some of the best moments of the round, and continued to back up Knockout, who would have known he was in a fight by the end of the round.
Sadly for Paradero as the rounds went on his speed slowed, his shots got wider, his defense more open and his aggression less effective. He had put a lot into the first few rounds, and whilst he had caught the eye, he had never really buzzed or hurt Knockout, who, who began to make things rougher and tougher for the challenger in round 4. In fact part way through round 4 it seemed almost as if Paradero had started to run out of ideas and energy, and he was bundled down, several times, late in the round. It was as if all the fight had started to leave him, before his wild desperation swings seemed to drop Knockout, who seemed to take another one when he was down.
In round 5 a tired looking Paradero was backing up as Knockout landed some solid looking body shots, further sapping the challenger who went down from a very odd looking shot up close. Paradero tried to beat the count but was stumbling and tumbled down for a second time, looking as if he had no idea where he was or what had happened.
Even on replay we're not totally sure the final shot was, but whatever it was it really messed Paradero up as he was stumbling around like he was wasted.
After more than a year out of the ring WBA Minimumweight "super" champion Knockout CP Freshmart (28-0, 8) returned earlier today to record his latest defense as he easily beat fellow Thai Pongsaklek Sithdabnij (23-7-1, 13).
On paper this was hardly a match up, with the man many regarded as the best fighter at 105lbs taking on not even the best fighter to use the Pongsaklek moniker in recent years, though in fairness Wonjongkam will always be a legend. Sadly the bout ended up being an even worse mismatch than anyone had hoped, and did little more than allow Knockout some stat padding and a chance to shake some ring rust.
The bout started slowly enough with both men looking to get their jabs into play in the early moments. It was obvious within a minute however that Pongsaklek lacked the accuracy, speed and crispness to be anything like a test for Knockout. Instead of landing shots he was falling short, looking unsure of himself and drawing smiles from the champion who looked super relaxed and comfortable. In fact this looked less like a world title fight and more like a sparring session with Knockout working on his jab through the entire of the opening round and throwing nothing else of note, though he never had to. And even the jabs seem to take a toll on Pongsaklek.
In round two the challenger tried to up the ante and did get through with some body shots as he looked to take the fight to the champion. It was however a lot of effort for little notable success as he seemed to simply piss off the champion who moved from neutral to second gear, and began to try and land some heavier leather. The ring rust of Knockout showed as he struggled to land clean with his power shots, but did eventually connect, dropping Wonjongkam mid way through round 2 with a left hook. The challenger beat the count, but looked like he suddenly had the realisation that he was out of his depth. His confidence instant sapped away whilst Knockout slowly began to walk him down.
Within seconds of round 3 starting Knockout landed a series of jabs, with one of them sending Pongsaklek down for the second time in the fight. Pongsaklek got to his feet again, but he was a man who about done, and within seconds Knockout unleashed a combination, sending the challenger stumbling and forcing the referee into to stop the action.
For Pongsaklek this was a lesson, and showed the gulf between domestic level and world class. As for Knockout it perhaps leaves him open for another title defense later this year. He was cut during this fight, but it was little more than a nick, and certainly shouldn't keep him out of the ring for another 19 months or so, which was the break he had coming in to this bout.
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.
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.