There were relatively few surprises in the “World Cup” of boxing Saturday night. The Mexican team proved too strong and too talented for the team from the Land of Smiles on their way to claiming the $200,000 trophy. The team of six Mexican fighters was a cut above the Thais; they now move on to a possible April showdown with Puerto Rico.
For many U.S. boxing fans this was the first look at the fighters from Thailand who seldom find their way outside of Asia. While the Mexican team came out on top 5-1, even in defeat the Thais managed to give a credible account of themselves.
The concept of the “World Cup” is fresh and exciting and could provide a vital boost to the sport of boxing while at the same time presenting some interesting and fierce rivalries. Think about it: England vs. Ireland, Mexico vs. Puerto Rico, France vs. Germany, Japan vs. Korea, and the U.S. against just about anyone. The possibilities are endless.
But the “World Cup” might be better served if it was presented in a tournament, styled closer to soccer’s World Cup.
* * *
Were the Mexicans that much better than the Thais or were the Thais simply not as good as their records would indicate? It’s no secret that the Thais have a habit of padding their records with wins over Filipino taxi drivers, but just how good was the team from Thailand and where do they go from their team’s disappointing loss?
Pramuansak Posuwan – Perhaps the surprise fighter of the evening. Although 36-years-old, Posuwan clearly showed the skills needed to compete against top-tier fighters and has a few more good fights left in him. Don’t be shocked if he ends up in Japan fighting for the WBC title held by Masamori Tokuyama and winning.
Ratanachai Sor Vorapin – While only 28 years of age, Ratanachai has a hard road ahead of him. He’s tough and has tons of heart but sometimes this just isn’t enough. Odds makers had Sor Vorapin favored over the younger Gonzalez but I knew better and chose Gonzalez to defeat Sor Vorapin. With the exception of Cruz Carbajal and Danny Romero, the 74 fight veteran has never scored a victory against a big-name opponent. The Thai went in as the more experienced fighter, but unbeknownst to those outside of Asia, he also came in as a fighter on the decline. This was a tough defeat for Sor Vorapin and his best days are behind him.
Sod Looknongyangtoy – Having seen Looknongyangtoy fight a few times in Thailand, I wasn’t the least bit surprised he made Ponce De Leon look as unrefined and downright sloppy as he did. This was the first big test for the Thai, and while he came up short, if he can learn from his mistakes he probably has the best chance to bag a title of all the Thais on the bill. He faded badly in the last third of the fight however and will need to step in with tougher competition than what he’s grown accustomed to.
Kaichon Sor Vorapin– Prior to this bout, Sor Vorapin was riding the wave of a thirteen fight winning streak. He turned his career around from a 4-7 start to 17-7, racking up wins against fairly formidable opposition and this loss shouldn’t hurt him. Sor Vorapin will probably never be a world champion but at 24 years of age, you never know.
Terdsak Jandaeng (20-1, 14 KOs) SD8 Carlos Contreras (20-11-3, 13 KOs) – Jandaeng eked out an eight round split decision over Carlos Contreras to garner what was to be the lone victory for Thailand. The Thai now attempts a run at a featherweight or super featherweight title while Contreras drops his fifth fight in six starts.
Jose German Cruz (1-2, 1 KO) KO4 Kosol Sor Vorapin (9-10-1, 6 KOs) – Jose German Cruz got the first W on his ledger in knocking out Kosol Sor Vorapin. The end came at 2:44 of round four. Even in losing, Kosol will have a place in the sport as an opponent for as long as he chooses. Don’t look for him anywhere in the title mix though.
News and Notes
Former champion WBA and IBF champion Juan Manuel Marquez (44-2-1 33 KOs)has agreed in principal to a fight with current WBA featherweight champion Chris John (36-0-1, 20 KOs). The bout is scheduled to be held in Indonesia on December 10th in what may be the largest turnout ever for a fight in Indonesia. The last few months have been a nightmare for the former champion Marquez. Not onepromoter was willing to offer the $50,000 minimum for Marquez to fightPhafrakorb Rakkiatgym of Thailand, causing the IBF to strip him of his title.Shortly thereafter he was unceremoniously stripped of his remaining WBA “super-champion” status, leaving the once proud champion sans title. Earlier this year, Marquez turned down a reported $700,000 to fight Filipino Manny Pacquiao. He’ll now travel to Indonesia to fight John for the paltry sum of $31,250.
* * *
WBC #1 ranked flyweight Rosendo Alvarez of Nicaragua defeated Julio Grimaldo via a ten-round, unanimous decision Saturday night in Managua, Nicaragua. Alvarez had originally been slated by the WBC to challenge flyweight champion Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, however due to a hand injury sustained by Wonjongkam in his October 10th fight with Daisuke Naito, Alvarez now moves towards a possible date with “interim” champion Jorge Arce.
A request to include women’s boxing in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games has been rejected by the International Olympic Committee Executive Board. “The reason why the Executive Board has not accepted the inclusion of women’s boxing is we consider the level of the sport around the world is not high enough today to justify the presence at the Olympic Games. Whereas male boxing is of course a very popular and universal sport, women’s boxing is not yet totally universal and popular.” The IOC did however leave the door open for women's boxing to be included at the London Games in 2012.
October 29, 2005 – Sports and Cultural Complex, Mandaue City, Philippines
Z “The Dream” Gorres KO3 Wisanu Pornobnum
Michael Domingo UD12 Rolly Lunas Philippine Bantamweight Title
Robert Allanic MD10 Roy Doliguez
Rollen Del Castillo UD10 Alex Aroy
Rocky Fuentes UD10 Bert Gawat
October 28, 2005 – Chokchai 4 Center, Bangkok, Thailand
Oleydong Sithsamerchai KO6 Lito Sisnorio (WBC Youth Minimumweight Title Asian Boxing Council [WBC] Minimumweight Title)
Chatchai Sasakul UD8 Nathan Barcelona
October 27, 2005 – Seoul, Korea
Gi Hoon Kim TKO6 Wu Xiao Song
Ha-na Kim KO1 Tae Sun Kim
October 24, 2005– Bangkok, Thailand
Pakphum Chengphonak UD12 Dondon Sultan (PABA Welterweight Title)
November 3, 2005 – Nakorn Sithammarat, Thailand
Saenghiran Lookbanyai vs. Julius Tarona (Asian Boxing Council [WBC)]Super Bantamweight Title)
November 4, 2005 – Supanburi, Thailand
David Lookmahanak vs. Akiyoshi Kobayashi (Asian Boxing Council [WBC] Super Flyweight Title)
November 7, 2005 – Pathumthani, Thailand
Nananko Kikuchi vs. Nongmai Sor Siriporn (WBC Womens Minimumweight Title)
December 10, 2005 – Indonesia
Chris John vs. Juan Manuel Marquez (WBA Featherweight Title)