The story/joke of the week here in Southeast Asia: the women’s matchup between #11 ranked Nanako Kikuchi of Japan and #3 ranked Nongmai Sor Siriporn for the vacant WBC women’s straw-weight title.
Number 2 ranked Carina Moreno had originally been scheduled to face Sor Siriporn, but due to a severe respiratory ailment which could have been exasperated by the humid weather in Thailand, Moreno elected to drop out of the fight. Enter last-minute replacement Nanako Kikuchi.
The fight is big news not because it’s a splendid matchup between two unbelievably talented fighters, but because it’s taking place in Bangkok's Prathum Thani prison.
"We want the world communities to know we are honoring human rights, even in the prison," said Nathee Chitsawang, director general of Thailand's Corrections Department.
"We are promoting sport and providing vocational training for the prisoners," Nathee said. "When they are released, it will make it easier to integrate into society." BoxRec.com lists Nongmai Sor Siriporn’s as 0-0, however this is denied by the WBC who claims her record is 8-0. “BoxRec.com has limited access,” said one WBC representative. ”No way would the WBC sanction it if they didn't feel right about it.”
What? Say again? Surely you jest. Obviously this particular WBC representative suffers from amnesia.
Can anyone say Marco Antonio Barrera - Mzonke Fana? Remember Larry Holmes - Marvis Frazier?
Discrepancies in record keeping have always been a dilemma in Southeast Asia, but just how does a fighter who is incarcerated earn a #3 ranking and a title shot without having any of her fights officially recorded?
A few weeks ago the Philippine Games and Amusements Board boxing made a point of promising not to sanction the WBC Youth and Asian Boxing Council minimum weight title fight between undefeated champion Oleydong Sithsamerchai (18-0, 8 KOs) of Thailand and Filipino challenger Jerry Duaso (6-3-2, 2 KOs). Although both fighters have a comparable number of fights, the G.A.B. felt the disparity in skill was enough to refuse to sanction the bout. Excellent!
Want more examples of how the WBC only sanctions fights they feel right about?
In the past few months, more and more Chinese fighters have been squaring off against the Thais as “opponents.”
On Wednesday, Liu Yong Jun challenges undefeated Panomroonglek Kratingdaenggym (9-0, 6 KOs) for the Asian Boxing Council (WBC) Flyweight Title. Jun has a sparkling record of 1-2 with zero knockouts.
On the same bill, winless Yang Chao (0-3) challenges for the WBC Youth Flyweight Title. How exactly does a fighter who is 0-3 get a title shot, albeit a “Youth Flyweight Title?”
Why can trainers, managers, writers, fans and promoters smell a mismatch a mile away but the WBC are blind, deaf and dumb to one smack dab in their face?
* * *
Sirimongkol Singwancha is the W.B.C.’s #2 ranked lightweight and the mandatory challenger for the title Diego Corrales holds. He is also the trainer of Nongmai Sor Siriporn and will be fighting on the under card of her title fight in a ten-rounder against an opponent TBA.
Gamblers, start saving your money and bet the bank on Corrales if these two ever meet.
* * *
Golden Boy’s World Cup
The Golden Cup team competition may or may not be good for boxing, but at least the Mexico vs. Thailand vehicle forced the Thai fighters to fight outside of Asia for a change. Win or lose, it’s nice to see the Thais matched against worthy opposition instead of the usual Filipino suspects.
Kudos to Golden Boy Promotions, if not for any other reason than getting a few Thai fighters out of Asia.
* * *
As if boxing needed more letters thrown into the alphabet soup, add one more to the pot; this time by a German organization, the WBCO
No, the WBCO isn’t simply another insignificant offshoot of the WBC. Nor does it sanction “Celebrity Boxing” or “The Contender.” It might as well though.
The WBCO now officially earns the “ridiculous” championship belt with their inclusion of the game of chess into the sweet science.
From the WBCO’s website:
”The basic idea in chess boxing is to combine the number one thinking sport and the number one fighting sport into a hybrid that demands the most of its competitors – both mentally and physically.
In a chess boxing fight two opponents play alternating rounds of chess and boxing. The contest starts with a round of chess, followed by a boxing round, followed by another round of chess and so on. In every round of chess the FIDE rules for a ´Blitz game´ apply, in every boxing round the AIBA rules apply with the following extensions and modifications:
In a contest there shall be 11 rounds, 6 rounds of chess, 5 rounds of boxing. A round of chess takes 4 minutes. Each competitor has 12 minutes on the chess timer. As soon as the time runs out the game is over. A round of boxing takes 2 minutes. Between rounds there is a 1 minute pause, during which competitors change their gear.
The contest is decided by: checkmate (chess round), exceeding the time limit (chess round), retirement of an opponent (chess or boxing round), KO (boxing round), or referee decision (boxing round). If the chess game ends in a stalemate, the opponent with the higher score in boxing wins. If there is an equal score, the opponent with the black pieces wins.”
Perhaps this will persuade former heavyweight champion and avid chess player Lennox Lewis to come out of retirement?
Don’t count on it …
November 7, 2005 - Patumthanee, Thailand
Nanako Kikuchi vs. Nongmai Sor Siriporn
Sirimongkol Singwangcha vs. TBA
Novermber 9, 2005 - Nongkai, Thailand
Panomroonglek Kratingdaenggym vs. Liu Yong Jun
Fahpetchnoi Sor Chitpattana vs. Yang Chao
November 3, 2005 - Nakorn Sithammarat, Thailand
Saenghiran Lookbanyai TKO6 Julius Tarona
November 4, 2005 - Supanburi, Thailand
Veeraphol Seehaprom KO4 Roger Galicia
November 5, 2005 - Manila, Philippines
Fernando Montilla KO4 Dexter Delada
Eric Barcelona SD12 Celso Dangod
Who Should Floyd Mayweather fight next: