May 10, 2006 – Klong Prem Prison, Bangkok, Thailand
Siriporn “The Black Rose” Sor Siriporn, 23, is currently an inmate at the Women’s Correctional Institute for Drug Addicts in Pathumthani, Thailand and is in the sixth year of a ten year sentence she is serving for drug offenses. Sor Siriporn hoped to become the first-ever female prison inmate to win a professional boxing title while serving a prison sentence but WBC minimumweight champion Nanako Kikuchi proved to be stronger and technically superior, outboxing Sor Siriporn to win a unanimous ten-round decision and make the first defense of her title.
Kikuchi took up the sport of boxing three years ago to get in better shape and in this time has won the Japanese women’s title as well as the WBC world title. A sports photographer by trade, she was training in a park for her title shot in November.
Sor Siriporn, whose name is actually Siriporn Taweesuk, takes the Sor Siriporn name from Siriporn Chutikuluang, warden of the facility she calls home. It is common for Thai fighters to take the name of their gym, sponsors, trainers or those who help them with their careers.
The ring was set deep inside the walls of the Klong Prem Men’s Prison, through five sets of doors and nestled tightly on a small concrete slab, just close enough to some of the inmate’s cells so they were able to view the encounter. The fight was not open to the public but there were over thousand in attendance not including the 4729 inmates. The card was televised on Thailand’s Channel 3.
The atmosphere inside then prison was surprisingly light as the prisoners were happy to do anything outside of their normal, daily routine.
“We’ve got all sorts of no-holds barred skirmishes going on in here, but these sorts of fights cheer the place up,” stated a jubilant Australian inmate. “It’s good for the place. It’s good for us to see other people besides just prisoners”
The first few rounds of the fight, Kikuchi established her jab and followed it with straight rights to the stomach of Sor Siriporn. Kikuchi looked to be the stronger of the two fighters, pushing the Thai around the ring and knocking her off-balance time and time again.
Sor Siriporn stepped up the pace in rounds two and three and was the busier fighter, jabbing and using the ring to keep her distance from Kikuchi and build up points.
Between rounds, Kikuchi listened intently to her cornerman and responded with several pronounced “hai’s” which resonated loudly above the crowd. This seemed to motivate her; rounds four through eight were all hers as she continually pressed Sor Siriporn to the ropes and bore in with body shots mixed with hooks to the head. By the end of the sixth round, Sor Siriporn wore the look of a confused fighter, unsure of how to contend with the attacks of Kikuchi. Save for the rare blow, Sor Siriporn lacked the necessary power to keep Kikuchi off of her.
In round eight, referee Bruce McTavish called a break in the action to allow Kikuchi’s corner to fix a piece of loose tape on her glove and this respite gave Sor Siriporn sufficient time to prepare to mount an attack. Kikuchi looked to be tiring and Sor Siriporn poured it on, only to be turned back by the sound of the bell.
The final two rounds belonged to Kikuchi. In the ninth she landed three huge rights to the jaw of Sor Siriporn and for the first time in the bout there was some question as to whether or not Sor Siriporn was capable of finishing the fight. She knew enough to hold on though and managed to make it to the end of the ninth round. A desperate and exhausted Sor Siriporn tried in vain to land the knockout punch in the tenth round but to no avail.
Much to the dismay of the partisan Thai crowd, all three judges scored the bout in favor of the champion; 97-93 and 96-94 twice. The Sweet Science scored it 97-93.
After the bout, an ecstatic Kikuchi broke down and wept uncontrollably.
“I wanted to win by knockout but couldn’t finish her, so I’m so very happy to get the decision,” said Kikuchi. “I was very nervous about losing a decision. I want to be a good champion and will work hard to defend my title.”
Kikuchi must now face the WBC number one ranked fighter, Wendy Rodriguez, within 180 days.
Sor Siriporn will continue to train while in prison and plans on continuing her boxing career upon her release.
On the undercard:
Former world title challenger and Nanako Kikuchi victim Nongmai Sor Siriporn ground out a majority decision victory over Hong Kong, women’s boxing champion Tse Hoi Wah to win her fourth straight. The bout was a seesaw battle which saw both fighters hurt several times; Sor Siriporn was slightly busier than Wah and deserving of the close decision victory. Judges scores: 58-56, 56-56, 57-57.
Matsumi Tasubasa battered inmate Pekoon Sor Siriporn for three rounds and raised a marble-sized lump below her left eye to force the referee to step in and stop the contest at 1:42 of the fourth round. The younger Tasubasa displayed better technique than the inexperienced inmate who was game but limited.
Promoter: Naris Singwancha
To write to Siriporn Sor Siriporn, Nongmai Sor Siriporn or any of the women in the Central Correctional Facility, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or snail-mail them at:
Women’s Correctional Institution for Drug Addicts
33/3 Ngamwongwan Road
Bang Khen, Bangkok 10900