October 29 in Tucson, Arizona, Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions brings fans a rare glimpse of a team of fighters from Thailand as they go up against fighters from Mexico. A total of six bouts are scheduled, four of them world title bouts. “It’s taken us a full year to put this card together. The best case scenario would be an even 3-3 split between the two countries, but we’ll just have to see what happens.” said international matchmaker Sampson Lewkowicz.
According to the WBO, “The winning country will hold the World Boxing Cup until the next World Cup.” The winning “team” will receive a $200,000 World Cup, specially commissioned by event co-sponsor Ice Link. Who the winning country will face next remains to be seen, but the Philippines is one other nation Golden Boy has expressed an interest in showcasing.
While the event is being promoted as a team event, perhaps Fernando Montiel put it best when he said “I feel strongly about it, but you have to remember that there's only one of us in the ring at a time.”
The Thai fighters arrived in the U.S. three weeks ago, far more than the normal two to three days they are usually given.
The entire card will be shown on HBO Latino and also throughout Thailand.
Jhonny Gonzalez (30-4, 26 KOs) vs. Ratanachai Sor Vorapin (65-8, 42 KOs) – WBO Bantamweight Title
Sor Vorapin is one of those fighters who always seem to do just enough to win. That is, unless it’s in a big fight atmosphere. He’s experienced, which is his biggest advantage, but he’s an old and shopworn 28 years of age, having fought some 73 fights in his career. While he no doubt gained invaluable knowledge from his losses to Tim Austin, Mark Johnson, Chris John, Yoddamrong Sityodtong and Gerry Penalosa, he has yet to beat an A level fighter at the top of their game. He’s beaten some decent fighters in Somsak Sithchatchawal, Danny Romero and Cruz Carbajal, but Romero was past his prime and Carbajal is basically a tough journeyman. In other words, these aren’t exactly career-defining victories. He squeaked by Maurico Martinez of Panama in August, coming close to being knocked out and will need to be at his absolute best if he hopes to retain his title. Don’t count on it.
Gonzalez via TKO round nine. I’ll be surprised if I see Sor Vorapin still standing at the end of the bout and shocked if he wins. Gonzalez is good, described by some as a “killer” in the ring. Sor Vorapin overrated.
Fernando Montiel (31-1-1, 24 KOs) vs. Pramuansak Posuwan (29-0-1, 17 KOs) – WBO Super Flyweight Title
Pramuansak Posuwan is 36 years old and that says a lot, especially when referring to a flyweight. While unknown to most boxing fans in the west, he’s fairly well-known in his native Thailand. He’s only been boxing since 2001 but has extensive experience in Muay Thai and is undefeated in his young boxing career. He’s never really been tested in straight boxing and herein lies what will make the difference.
Montiel is young, hungry, has faced better competition and can bang. This fight should be a good one as long as it lasts which shouldn’t be long. Being a tough, undefeated fighter doesn’t normally win fights, especially when going up against a guy who has a habit of whacking guys out.
Montiel via KO round four. Maybe, just maybe Posuwan will force Montiel to go the distance, but I doubt it.
Hugo Cazares (21-3-1, 15 KOs) vs. Kaichon Sor Vorapin (17-7, 6 KOs) – WBO Light Flyweight Title
Neither of these two have lost recently; Cazares has gone six years and retired Alex “El Nene” Sanchez, Kaichon lost four of his first six bouts but has steadily improved. Sor Vorapin was also knocked out in two by current minimum weight champion Muhammad Rachman back in 2002 and has went 15-3 since then. At the time he only had five fights under his belt. Nonetheless, he’s fought relatively poor opposition and again, herein lays the difference.
Cazares by late-round TKO or a decision. If it does go to a decision I’d give Sor Vorapin a slight chance.
Sod Looknongyangtoy (25-0, 10 KOs) vs. Daniel Ponce De Leon (26-1, 25 KOs) – Vacant WBO Super Bantamweight Title
This should be the fight of the night. Can Looknongyangtoy outbox Ponce De Leon and remain standing? That is the million dollar question.
Despite only having 10 KOs in his 25 bouts, Looknongyangtoy is strong and has the ability to make it a difficult night for Ponce De Leon Whether he’s able to stay in the pocket for the duration of the fight is another story. Along with De Leon’s nonexistent footwork, this is what makes this fight exciting. Once again it’s the Mexican fighter who has fought the better competition, with Looknongyangtoy having the list of usual Filipino suspects on his ledger.
I’ve seen Looknongyangtoy fight several times, the last time against an Indonesian named Yusup Bodini. While it’s easy to look good against the Yusup Bodinis of the boxing world, I’ve yet to be disappointed by him in any of his fights. He stood out in my mind long before this bout was scheduled and increasingly has shown more power, knocking out 5 of his last 6 opponents.
If I were a gambling man, I’d say the smart money’s on Ponce De Leon via KO. Most Thai’s don’t fall down on the job easily though and Looknongyangtoy does have some decent boxing skills.
I’m going to go with the Thai via hard-fought decision, in an upset.
Terdsak Jandaeng (19-1, 14 KOs) vs. Carlos Contreras (20-10-3, 13 KOs)
Joan Guzman victim Terdsak Jandaeng rebounded last month from his only defeat by knocking out Filipino frequent flyer Jaime Barcelona in the ninth round. A class act that always comes to fight, Jandaeng displayed lots of heart in his bout with Guzman in getting off the canvas to finish the fight and seems destined for a title shot. While Contreras is a tough as nails, I just don’t see him having enough to get by Jandaeng.
Jandaeng via decision.
Kosol Sor Vorapin (9-9, 6 KOs) vs. German Cruz (14-1-1)
Originally scheduled to square off against Abner Mares, Kosol Sor Vorapin is now slated to go against German Cruz. Kosol has been in with some decent fighters; Yersin Jailauov, Miguel Roman and Hussein Hussein, but ended up starting at the lights.
Look for history to repeat itself once again. Cruz via KO.
Overall the Mexican team has the edge and should come out on top. I see the Thais winning one or two bouts with a 3-3 split a longshot. You never know though in boxing which is why I’ll be tuning in.