Two steps forward, three steps back, forget the good, remember the bad. That seems to be the path boxing is taking nowadays. Where the path leads is anybody’s guess, but it certainly isn’t leading towards the end of a rainbow. For every good deed done in boxing (I still believe there are some), for every fighter who drags himself out of the ghetto or who keeps himself out of trouble, for every Corrales-Castillo battle and for every trouble-free show staged around the world, large or small, it only takes one dreadful incident for the public to forget all of the positive aspects of the sport. In the quagmire of sanctioning bodies, unethical promoters and managers, as well as fights that should never be, one of the rare steps forward is always welcome. Earlier last week, Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions and the Kokiet Group of Thailand took one of those steps in announcing a partnership between their respective companies. The agreement would essentially showcase some the best Mexican and Thai fighters in the sport; bringing the Thais to the larger U.S. boxing market to fight the Latino fighters from the Golden Boy stable. There are also plans to bring Filipino and Indonesian fighters into the mix in the near future. Golden Boy VP of Boxing Operations Raul Jaimes stated in a press conference last week in Bangkok, Thailand, “We felt we needed to expand, starting off in Asia, first with Thailand. We needed to build an alliance with other people to bring boxing to where we want to see it, to a better place, comparable to all the other sports in the world.”
Boxing is lacking star power and the sport needs fresh faces willing and able to fight. There are plenty of these in Southeast Asia, and whether or not the next superstar will come from Asia, Golden Boy is on the right track.
Towards the end of the press conference international matchmaker Sampson Lewkowicz pronounced, “God bless the boxers, God bless Thailand, and God bless America.” One thing is for certain, boxing needs all the blessings it can get.
The Golden Cup - Mexico vs. Thailand
Where: Desert Diamond Casino, Tucson, Arizona, USA
When: October 29
What: Four WBO world title fights
Who: Jhonny Gonzalez (29-4) vs. Ratanachai Sor Vorapin (64-8) (WBO bantamweight title)
Fernando Montiel (31-1-1) vs. Pramuansak Phosawan (28-0-1) (WBO junior bantamweight title)
Hugo Cazares (21-3-1) vs Kaichon Sor Vorapin (16-7) (WBO junior flyweight title)
Daniel Ponce de Leon (26-1) vs Sod Looknongyangtoy (25-0) (WBO junior featherweight title)
Tickets range from $25 to $100.
Further Details On Sithchatchawal vs. Assanov
Last week in my Boxing in Asia article I wrote about a fight between Somsak Sithchatchawal of Thailand and Almaz Assanov of Kazakhstan. What made the bout interesting was Assanov was shown on Box Rec as only having one fight, a decision loss to current WBO bantamweight titleholder Ratanachai Sor Vorapin. Sithcharchawal on the other hand was 42-1-1 and the WBA’s #1 ranked super bantamweight contender.At Friday’s Golden Boy Promotions press conference I was given further details pertaining to Almaz Assanov. According to Assanov’s manager Yerik Jailauov, at the time of the Ratanachai Sor Vorapin fight his fighter had a record of 3-0-1 with 2 KOs with all of the fights taking place in Kazakhstan. In his latest fight with Somsak Sithchatchawal, Assanov’s record was purported to be 8-1-1 with 5 KOs with the subsequent four fights having taken place in Kazakhstan. Why there is a discrepancy in the records is unknown however Box Rec, Fight Fax and Yerik Jailauov have all have been notified and hopefully can figure out what’s what and who’s who. Jailauov has seven fighters under his guise including WBO #7 ranked super bantamweight Yersin Jailauov (18-2-0, 7 KOs)
Krating Daeng of Thailand (Red Bull)
The Red Bull energy drink has rapidly become a worldwide phenomenon and shows no sign of slowing down. While many in the western world know of the companies’ involvement with extreme sports, what they may not know is Red Bull of Thailand regularly sponsors fight cards and also fighters and brings boxing to the Thai public, in many cases for free. Currently they provide sponsorship for twelve fighters from six different gyms including current WBA bantamweight interim titleholder Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym, WBC flyweight king Pongsakelek Kratingdaenggym, WBC #10 ranked flyweight contender Panomroonlek Kratingdaenggym and WBC #3 ranked super bantamweight contender Saenghiran Kratingdaenggym. Pongsaklek defends his title for the 12th time October 10th against Japanese challenger Daisuke Naito in Tokyo, Japan.
Sidorenko - Fukushima Cancelled
The Wladimir Sidorenko-Manabu FukushimaWBA bantamweight title fight has been cancelled. Manabu Fukushima suffered a ruptured calf in preparation for the bout and will be out of action for an unspecified length of time. Sidorenko is now likely to face Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym of Thailand who is the interim champion.
Javier Jauregui Defeats Randy Suico
On Friday night, IBF #9 ranked lightweight and former IBF champion Javier "Chatito" Jauregui (50-12-2, 34 KOs) scored a majority decision over WBC #4, WBA #7, IBF #13 Randy Suico (22-2, 19 KOs) of the Philippines. The show was held at the Lyon Center on the campus of the University of Southern California and was promoted by Golden Boy Promotions. Scores were 95-95, 99-91, 99-91.
Venezuelan lightweight Edwin Valero made quick work of Hero Bando, knocking him out at 1:56 of the first round and winning his 16th straight via KO.
September 21 - Bangkok, Thailand
WBC #3 ranked Saenghiran Lookbanyai KO3 Joven Jorda (WBC ABCO Super Bantamweight Title)
WBA#1 lightweight Prawet Singwancha vs. Jun Paderna
September 23 - Los Angeles, CA, USA
Javier "Chatito" Jauregui MD10 majority decision over Randy Suico
September 23 - Kanchanaburi, Thailand IBF #11 ranked jr. featherweight Fahsung 3K Battery (48-8-1, 26 KOs) knocked out Filipino Jojo Arnado (4-12, 1 KO) in the fourth round. The loss was Arnado’s eighth straight defeat.
September 25 - Yokohama Arena, Yokohama, Japan
Hozumi Hasegawa (18-2, 5 KOs) TKO7 Gerardo Martinez (27-5-2, 20 KOs) WBC Bantamweight Title
Yutaka Niida TD10 Eriberto Gejon WBA Minimumweight Title
Edwin Valero KO1 Hero Bando
October 7 - Bangkok, Thailand
WBA #2 ranked Denkaosan Kaovichit vs. Jun Ebraham (WBA P.A.B.A. Flyweight Title)
October 10 - Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Pongsaklek Wongjamkam vs. Daisuke Naito (WBC Flyweight Title)
October 29 - Tucson, Arizona, USA
Jhonny Gonzalez (30-4, 26 KOs) vs. Ratanachai Sor Vorapin (65-8, 42 KOs) (WBO Bantamweight Title)
Fernando Montiel (31-1-1) vs. Pramuansak Phosawan (28-0-1) (WBO Junior Bantamweight Title)
Hugo Cazares (21-3-1, 15 KOs) vs. Kaichon Sor Vorapin (17-7, 6 KOs) (WBO Junior Flyweight Title)
Daniel Ponce de Leon (26-1, 25 KOs) vs. Sod Looknongyangtoy (25-0, 10 KOs) (WBO Junior Featherweight Title)
Would you pay to see Manny Pacquiao vs Saul Alvarez?