Boxing is about pain and the ability to work through it. It is brutality contained in a box, controlled ever-so-slightly by a scant, few rules. Every so often a fight comes along which makes you proud to watch what takes place in the ring, and yet at the same time forces you to cringe at the punishment inflicted upon another human being. The HBO free preview weekend treated us to a boxing bargain when Mahyar “Little Tyson” Monshipour made the sixth defense of his WBA Super Bantamweight title against unheralded Somsak Sithchatchawal of Thailand. A sold-out Sports Hall Marcel Cerdan saw the courageous Somsak Sithchatchawal come back from the brink of defeat to pummel Monshipour in round ten, forcing the stoppage.
Whenever I see a Thai fighting outside of Asia in a title fight, the gambler in me forces me to break out my wallet. Thais have a notorious habit of losing when fighting outside of Asia and it’s usually an easy way to make some quick money. Tell this to Mahyar Monshipour of France. The gutsy Frenchman won the title in 2003 but has a history of engaging in toe-to-toe slugfests. This time around, it caught up with him.
Fortunately, just before I made it to the bookie I had a change of heart. Following the George Costanza rule of decision making, I decided to do the opposite of what I normally do and I put my money back in my pocket. The Costanza rule has yet to fail me. At 4 AM Bangkok time I sat alone in my office and witnessed ten, brutal rounds of seesaw, boxing action in a fight which could easily be labeled Fight of the Year. I’m not one to hand out that title nonchalantly but watch the fight and see for yourself – you won’t be disappointed.
Monshipour ran across the ring to start round one, aggressively unloading bombs upon the head of Somsak, forcing him against the ropes. Just twenty seconds into the round, Somsak seemingly clipped Monshipour with a straight left, scoring a flash knockdown, but Referee John Coyle waved off the knockdown and ruled it a slip. Monshipour looked to be clearheaded and pressed forward, continuing his nonstop assault. The two exchanged punches and Somsak dug in a short, left uppercut, knocking Monshipour off-balance and causing him to stumble backwards and to the canvas.
The Frenchman rose quickly, more stunned than hurt, and the battle continued. Somsak rattles off twenty-plus left uppercuts to the jaw of the shorter Monshippour who was content to stand in front of the Thai and allow him to do so. Somsak found a home for the punch and wasn’t about to stop driving it there.
The next two rounds the fighters settled in to do battle. Monshipour walked right into his taller opponent and alternated short, straight punches with wide, looping, left and right hook bombs; Somsak continued to try the left uppercut and mixed in straight lefts and right hooks to the body. This body attack would eventually cause the downfall of the former champion.
The face-battering continued, round after round, only occasionally interrupted by Somsak’s pounding of the Frenchman’s body. Monshipour was a headhunter, neglecting the body to concentrate on bashing his opponent’s face into oblivion. Both fighters were stunned several times throughout the fight however it was Monshipour who was slightly busier and ahead on the scorecards through round eight (TSS had it 87-84 Monshipour).
Somsak snuck in two short, left uppercuts to start round nine and quickly followed them with two huge right hooks that visibly shook Monshipour. This only made the champion more determined and he battled back bravely, winging shot after shot at his opponent. With his corner screaming “khaeng jai noi, kaeng jai noi (keep trying, keep on him, only a little more),” Somsak refused to be denied, having his best round of the fight, relentlessly digging in with the left uppercut/right hook combination.
In the tenth, the Thai began moving, using his jab in an attempt to keep Monshipour at bay. Thirty seconds later and the fight was back in the phone booth. Monshipour landed two hard punches to the head of Somsak – lying against the ropes, moving his head to avoid the mugging, and gasping for air – who looked to be wilting. Summoning his depleted reserves, Somsak shuffled off the ropes and landed a crisp left to the jaw of Monshipour. Two left hooks missed, but then a huge right momentarily stopped Monshipour in his tracks. Sensing the end was near, Somsak cracked home a five-punch combination comprised only of powerful hooks.
Monshipour stumblds to his left with Somsak all over him. Somsak threw an all-or-nothing left hook but slipped in the process, giving Monshipour a momentary reprieve. The Thai fires off five left uppercuts in a row with no answer from the champion. A left hook snaps the head of Monshipour back violently and a right hand follows, driving the weary champion to the ropes, prompting the referee to step in and stop the carnage.
The victory moves Somsak Sithchatchawal to 46-1-1, 37 KO’s. A shocked Mahyar Monshipour (28-3-2, 19 KO’s) announces his retirement after the bout.
March 4, 2006 – Tenggarong City, Borneo, Thailand
Chris John UD12 Juan Manuel Marquez
WBA Featherweight championship
Read my lips – there was no hometown decision – Marquez was a step behind the elusive Indonesian and while the fight was close, in no way, shape or form was this decision some sort of gross injustice.
May 10, 2006 – Rachbhak University, Petchaburi, Thailand
Sirimongkol Singwancha UD6 Hayato Takabayashi
Sataporn Singwancha UD12 Bart Abapo
Wandee Singwancha UD6 Kenichi Onishi
Nongmai Sir Siriporn TKO3 Ratanaporn Pathompothong
Siriporn Sir Siriporn UD6 Maliwan Pathompothong
Satanaporn gets hit far too often, Sirimongkol needs to fight a quality opponent if he wants to have any chance with Corrales or Castillo and the Sor Siriporn girls march on.
March 11, 2006 – Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Manabu Fukushima UD10 Kaona Klongpajol
Trash Nakamura KO2 Pingping Tepura
May 18, 2006 - Sports Hall Marcel Cerdan, Levallois-Perret, France
Somsak Sithchatchawal TKO10 Mahyar Monshipour
Sithchatchawal wins the WBA Super Bantamweight title in an upset – mark this down as fight of the year!
May 18, 2006 – Mandaue Sports & Cultural Complex, Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines
Z Gorres UD12 Waenpetch Chuwatana
Thai talks smack before the fight, can’t back it up
April 29, 2006 – Jakarta, Indonesia
Muhammad Rachman vs. Omar Soto
The battle of the mini’s finally comes off!
May 6, 2006
Rodel Mayol vs. Eagle Kyowa
WBC Minimumweight title
May 13, 2006 – Waterfront Hotel, Lahug, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines
Randy Suico vs. Kongtoranee Por Surasak
Vacant OPBF Lightweight title
May 20, 2006 – Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Jimrex Jaca vs. Nobuhito Honmo
Malcolm Tuñacao vs. Yasuo Kijima
OPBF Bantamweight title
May 20, 2006 – Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Rey ‘Boom Boom’ Bautista vs. TBA
Z Gorres vs. TBA
Time to see if these two Filipinos can make the grade in the U.S.
June 25, 2006 – Araneta Coliseum, Manila, Philippines
Manny Pacquiao vs. Oscar Larios
What does Oscar Larios have left? Can he overtake the Pacman express or will the little Bruce Lee look-a-like be too much for the Mexican? I’d put my money on Pacman in Manila.
Who will win the Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward fight?