Boxing in Thailand; WBA Title Fight

BY Scott Mallon ON October 01, 2006
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October 4, 2006 – Wat Ban Rai, Nakorn Ratchisima (Korat) – Somsak Sithchatchawal vs. Celestino Caballero

Most fans and boxing journalists know very little about Somsak Sithchatchawal other than what was seen in his gutsy, title winning performance against Mahyar Monshipour. He came close to being stopped by Monshipour in the second round and could have very easily lost the fight if not for his last minute heroics. While his fight with Monshipour may be a fight of the year candidate, you can’t base everything on one performance. But one thing is certain: he’s not going to lie down when he’s comes under heavy fire from Celestino Caballero.

Like many Thais, Sithchatchawal sports an impressive record padded with wins against mostly inferior opposition. Prior to his win against Monshipour, his most impressive win came against Yersin Jailauov who was then 15-1. Sithchatchawal has actually won a world championship, albeit a WBF “championship” against someone named Elton Taaibos, a 5-5 fighter, and his only loss came in his twelfth professional fight against the more experienced Ratanachai Sor Vorapin.

Sithchatchawal’s got no shortage of heart but the height and reach advantage of Caballero could be too much for him to overcome. As was demonstrated in his bout with Monshipour, he’s willing to take a punch to give one so he should be able to work his way inside and win a hard-fought decision. Sithchatchawal should have the edge in strength and has the added advantage of being on his home turf. The $64,000 question is whether or not Caballero can keep him from getting inside where he’ll be capable of inflicting most of the damage.

Sithchatchawal via close unanimous decision, 115-113 or 116-112.

The Sweet Science will be at the weigh-in Tuesday and ringside for the fight on Wednesday. The fight is being held at the Ban Rai Temple in celebration of the eightieth birthday of the most famous monk in Thailand, Luang Phor Khoon Parisuttho.

News and Notes:

If you’re in need of a laugh, take a look at the W.B.C. website (www.wbcboxing.com).
From the “We Are the World” played on the entrance page to their Code of Ethics, the site’s an endless source of amusement and hypocritical statements.

Exhibit A:
The recent decision to order a rematch between James Toney and Samuel Peter.

Regardless of whether or not you agree with the judges’ decision, the WBC has once again violated its own “Code of Ethics.” Not that this should come as any surprise. What’s even more ironic though is after Samuel Peter defeated James Toney, the WBC awarded him with a September honorable mention for “having won a heavyweight eliminatory fight against James Toney (US).”

According to the WBC, any person involved in professional boxing should:

--- Regard decisions of the referee and judges as final.

If the decisions of the referees and judges are final, why was there even a vote whether or not there should be a Toney-Peter rematch? The WBC claims it stands behind its judges but then contradicts this by ordering a rematch.

--- Refrain from unethical behavior that may bring disgrace to many people involved in the sport. Boxers must behave as good sportsmen in and out the ring, in their public statements and attitude towards the media.

Is James Toney a good sportsman in his public statements and attitude toward the media? Please.

--- Uphold and respect the Constitution, Rules and Regulations and principles of the WBC at all times. Failure to do so is failure to the sport.

The WBC has already failed the sport of boxing several times over. For every good deed they’ve done, there are ten times as many bad ones. It doesn’t take an in-depth review of their sordid history to recognize they’ve bamboozled more than their fair share of fighters, fans and media.

They’ve consistently neglected, circumvented and skirted the very constitution and rules and regulations they declare as their own. From looking at the WBC website, though, you’d think they’re model citizens and their actions are purely altruistic. Rubbish.

In yet another laughable attempt at playing the shell game, Sulaiman tries to explain why Peter was given a rematch:

--- First, for having been a rather close fight which divided the opinion of the media and fans.  This rematch will clear the air and we will have official undisputable challenger to our new champion Oleg Maskaev.

So Peter’s victory was “unofficial?”

Did the WBC ever give Pernell Whitaker the chance to avenge his so-called draw at the hands of Julio Cesar Chavez? Dave Tiberi never got a rematch from the IBF, why should James Toney get one from the WBC?

If the Toney – Peter decision was that bad, the WBC should find more competent judges instead of taking away title shots that were supposedly earned in the ring.

                                                           * * *

Unconfirmed reports out of Japan are claiming the WBC’s Asian Boxing Council (ABCO) will no longer be allowed to sanction bouts in Japan. Apparently the Japan Boxing Commission has grown tired of ABCO allowing unknown fighters with unverifiable records to challenge for their belt. Stay tuned.

                                                           * * *

The October 18th rematch between WBA light-flyweight Koki Kameda of Japan and Venezuela’s Juan Landaeta has been postponed due to a cut suffered by Kameda. No reports yet of when the bout will be rescheduled to but Kameda’s cut will take at least a month to heal.

Thai Tidbits:

October 3, 1993: Undefeated IBF Flyweight champion Pichit Sithbangprachan (24-0, 18 KOs) knocks out Miguel Martinez in Chaiyapoom, Thailand in nine rounds to make the third successful defense of his world title.

Pichit Sithbangprachan is the older brother of Pichitnoi (Little Pichit) Sithbangprachan (34-3, 15 KOs), the former WBA lightweight champion from 1996 to 2000. Little Pichit held the title until he was stripped for failing to defend his title against mandatory challenger Rosendo Alvarez. Two years later in January 2002, Pichitnoi challenged Alvarez for the WBA light flyweight title only to suffer a twelfth round technical knockout.

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