Home Boxing News Wanheng looks to end Thailand’s bad run

Wanheng looks to end Thailand’s bad run

The past few months have been depressing for Thai boxing fans with their fights going 0-3 in world title fights over the last 3 months.

Back in May we saw the tricky Amnat Ruenroeng (17-1, 5) suffer his first defeat as Filipino Johnriel Casimero (22-3, 14) scored a surprise 4th round KO over the Thai. The loss for Amnat saw him lose the IBF Flyweight title, after 5 successful defenses. The Thai had had an impressive reign with wins over Rocky Fuentes, to win the title, Kazuto Ioka, McWilliams Arroyo, Zou Shiming and Casimero himself, in a very controversial bout last year.

The loss for Amnat seems to have been the catalyst for a downfall for Thai’s which has seen two other big stoppage losses for their fighters.

On July 16th we saw veteran Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo (61-3, 41) suffer his first stoppage loss was Mexican puncher Miguel Berchelt (30-1, 27) destroyed him him in 4 rounds to retain the WBO “interim” Super Featherweight title. The bout saw Piriyapinyo start well but in the end end Berchelt’s power was simply too much for a man who was in his third world title bout. Whilst there is no shame in losing to Berchelt, the manner of the loss wasn’t great for the Thai who was made to look weak in the end as Berhelt out boxed him, out slugged him, out fought him and beat him down.

This past Wednesday saw that run continue with Pungluang Sor Sinyu (52-4, 35) losing the WBO Bantamweight title to Filipino fight Marlon Tapales (29-2, 12) in a mandatory title defense by the Thai. Pungluang had a monstrous round 5 but failed to see off the Filipino who came back and dropped the Thai in round 6 before eventually wearing Pungluang down in the early stages of round 11, to give Pungluang his 2nd stoppage loss, and send another title form Thailand to the Philippines.

This coming Tuesday we see another of Thailand’s world champions in action as Wanheng Menayothin (42-0, 17) look to defend his WBC Minimumweight title, and remain one of only two Thai’s with world titles. In the opposite corner to the champion will be talented Mexican Saul Juarez (23-4-1, 12), who goes into the bout in the form of his life and as the WBC mandatory title challenger. Another loss here for Thailand would leave them with just a single world champion, WBA Minimumweight champion Knockout CP Freshmart (13-0, 6), who is expected to be defending his title in October in Japan.

Wanheng is regarded by some hardcore as the best Minimumweight on the planet. His record may not be the best in terms of competition but his skill level is incredibly high and he will be hoping to continue his winning run, but Juarez is a very talented, fit and technical fighter who has recent beaten former world champions Adrian Hernandez and Oswaldo Novoa and poses a genuine through to the champion, who is facing arguably his toughest opponent to date.

A loss for Wanheng won’t be the end for Thai boxing by any means, but it will leave the promoters wondering what they have done to have such a poor year, a year in which hopefuls like Chanachai CP Freshmart and Paipharob Kokietgym suffer major losses and stopped their rises, and champions have been dethroned.

Scott Graveson covers the Asian boxing scene for www.asianboxing.info