May 1, 2006, 11th Infantry Regiment, Bangkok, Thailand – Long-reigning WBC flyweight champion Pongsaklek Wonjongkam battered Daigo Nakahiro in the sweltering Bangkok heat to win a twelve-round unanimous decision and successfully defend his title. With the victory, Wonjongkam equals Miguel Canto’s flyweight division record of fourteen straight title defenses. Wonjongkam plans to present his championship belt to the King Bhumipol of Thailand in celebration of his sixtieth year on the throne.
Wonjongkam, a southpaw, started the bout firing repeated lead lefts followed by right hooks to the body. Nakahiro fired back with straight rights but by the end of the round, Wonjongkam’s punches had left their mark and reddened the face of the challenger.
The second round was relatively quiet until the duo exchanged hooks at the end of the round; Wonjongkam’s punch landed first and down went Nakahiro. The gutsy challenger pulled himself up at the count of seven and seconds later the bell sounded to end the round. Nakahiro could have very well stayed down for the full count but instead showed he came to fight.
In the fourth stanza, Wonjongkam initiated the body attack that would continue for the duration of the bout. The straight left to the body was the staple of his attack and he mixed up the attack with right uppercuts and right hooks to the kidney of Nakahiro. At some point in the round, Wonjongkam landed a punch that opened a slit over the left eye of Nakahiro. Between rounds Nakahiro’s corner stopped the flow of blood; the cut would not be a factor in the fight.
Nakahiro picked up the pace in round five, snapping out his jab then following it with hard rights to the face of Wonjongkam. Nakahiro scored with two uppercuts on the inside; the round was Nakahiro’s best and the only round which he may have won.
Wonjongkam scored three straight uppercuts to grab back the momentum at the beginning of round six and resumed his body attack. By the end of round seven the persistent assault was taking effect; Nakahiro looked visibly tired and by the end of the round was lying against ropes in a purely defensive mode.
Both fighters found their second wind in round eight with Nakahiro attempting to find a home for the straight right. Wonjongkam would have none of it though and it was during one such exchange when he scored a short, crunching left cross, staggering Nakahiro and restating his superiority.
In the final round it was clear to all in attendance that Nakahiro’s only shot at victory was via knockout. Wonjongkam was in complete control however and wasn’t about to let his fourteenth defense slip away. He continued to stay busy, landing the straight left, right hook to the body over and over again, until – crack – an accidental head butt opened a razor-thin, one inch gash over the right eye of the champion.
"He was motivated for this fight," said Wonjongkam. "I’m the champion and he came to take it away from me. Every fighter who challenges me gets up for the fight because they want my belt."
Earlier this month, WBC President Jose Sulaiman stated if Wonjongkam were to win the fight with Nakahiro, he would be ordered to make his next defense against interim champion, Jorge Arce. There is a chance Arce will be moving up to super flyweight and if this were the case, Wonjongkam would be expected to make his next defense against the WBC International champion, Monelisi Myekeni.
However, insiders say an agreement has been made for a third bout between Wonjongkam and Japan’s Daisuke Naito.
Evidently no one has told Wonjongkam about the agreement.
"Right now I have no idea who I’ll fight in my fifteenth defense. It’s up to my promoter – I’ll fight whoever he wants."
On the undercard, WBC #3 ranked flyweight Panomroonglek Kratingdaenggym (13-0, 8 KO’s) scored a unanimous decision over Jun Eraham (5-8, 3 KO’s) of the Philippines to retain his ABCO title. Judges scores: 118-114, 117-112, 118-110.
May 6, 2006 – Senayan Indoor Tennis Stadium, Jakarta, Indonesia
Muhammad Rachman vs. Omar Soto
IBF Minimumweight title
May 6, 2006 - Tokyo Japan
Rodel Mayol vs. Eagle Kyowa
WBC Minimumweight title
Malcolm Tunacao vs. Yasuo Kajima
May 6, 2006 - Paranaque City, Manila, Philippines
Brian Viloria vs. Juanito Rubillar
WBC Jr. Flyweight title
May 10, 2006 - Bangkok, Thailand
Siriporn Sor Siriporn vs. Nanako Kikuchi
WBC Women’s Light Flyweight championship
Nongmai Sor Siriporn vs. TBA
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
Marco Antonio Barrera vs. Rocky Juarez
Sirimongkol Singwancha vs. Chikashi Inada
Rey ‘Boom Boom’ Bautista vs. Roberto Bonilla
Jorge Rodrigo Barrios vs. Janos Yagy
May 31, 2006 – TBA, USA
Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai vs. Manuel Medina
July 2, 2006 – Araneta Coliseum, Manila, Philippines
Manny Pacquiao vs. Oscar Larios
* * *
At the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas; IBF flyweight champion Vic Darchinyan (25-0) and WBO champion Omar Narvaez (20-0-2) put their respective titles on the line when they square off June 3rd on the undercard of the Jose Luis Castillo – Diego Corrales bout. With a little luck and an enticing purse, the winner may end up fighting WBA champion Lorenzo Parra, WBC champion Pongsaklek Wonjongkam or WBC interim champion Jorge Arce.
Make that a lot of luck…
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV