Singapore gets back into the boxing fray June 15th for the first time in 17 years when Indonesia’s Daudy “The Bali Boy” Bahari (28-1-1, 11 KOs) takes on Filipino fighter Bart Abapo (17-5-3, 12 KOs) at the Swissotel The Stamford for the PABA super lightweight title. The Black Tie Fight Night is the first professional boxing event to be held in Singapore since 1989 when Indonesia’s Ellyas Pical scored a split decision over Mike Phelps of the United States and is only the second professional fight card in the country’s history.

“Boxing is a high-octane sport and boxers display tremendous skills and courage when they are in the ring. The sport has a rich history here and we are extremely proud to be able to bring the sport back to Singapore. It is our aim to promote both amateur and professional boxing as an established sport, and a newly revitalized entertainment and tourist attraction in Singapore. The title clash between Bahari and Abapo is definitely a fight not to be missed,” said Mr. Mark Powell, Managing Director of Meridian Promotions.

Daudy Bahari, 22, is making the seventh defense of the PABA title he won in September 2003 but is coming off a controversial technical decision win over Filipino Dennis Laurente. He dropped the fight before this to Motoki Sataki so he needs an impressive win over Abapo if he’s to have any chance of getting back into the world rankings.

Bart Abapo is a rugged fighter who’s only been knocked out once in his twenty-five fight career, against Gary St. Claire two years ago. In December of last year Abapo was punished for six rounds and dropped twice by former WBA super featherweight champion Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai but ended the bout on his feet.

Abapo’s trainer, Edito Villamor has publicly stated his charge wasn’t worried about Bahari, but was more worried about the two Indonesian judges and Thai referee. However the Secretary-General of PABA, Alan Kim, will be in attendance and has guaranteed he will make certain all of the officials are fair.

An auction for two pair of boxing gloves worn by Sugar Ray Leonard will be held during the event. Proceeds from the auction go to the Yellow Ribbon Fund in Singapore and the Debra Charity in the UK.

The title fight will be televised live on STAR Sports at 10 PM on Thursday, June 15.

Scheduled bouts

Mohammad Nor Rizan vs. Hendrik Borneo
Tia Koswara vs. Kuichi Shiniya
David Alexus vs. Yasser Khadafi
Moses Seran vs. Chatchai Sor Chitalada
Daud Jordan vs. Narong Sot Chitlalada

Main Event
Daudy Bahari vs. Bart Abapo
PABA Super Lightweight Championship

Promoted by: Meridian Promotions

Sidorenko vs. Kratingdaenggym

Vinai Singhsnaeh, manager for Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym has boldly guaranteed a knockout victory in the July 15th bout against WBA interim champion Wladimir “Ukranian Mini-Powerplant” Sidorenko. Kratingdaenggym has adopted his former Muay Thai nickname “The Tank” for the bout and plans to dismantle the Ukranian in swift fashion. Before adopting boxing as his profession, Kratingdaenggym fought ninety fights in Thailand’s national sport of Muay Thai, winning all but ten of them.

An unmistakable aura surrounds “The Tank”; it’s the aura only an undefeated fighter can have. There is hunger in his eyes and he is giddy with excitement. He is clearly looking forward to his bout with Sidorenko and desperately wants to win. Kratingdaenggym trains with a vengeance and thinks like a fighter ought to – he wants to test himself against the best and doesn’t take the easiest route available – in contrast to some Thais who are content to fight taxi drivers in their country on a regular basis while claiming to be the best.

He’ll be in Germany for a full week before the fight to get over the jet lag and unlike some Thais, who fold when fighting on the road, Kratingdaenggym won’t. Sidorenko has stated he wants to shine against the “unpronounceable“from Thailand. It’s unlikely the natural ebullience and skill the Thai possesses will be forgotten after the bout.

Kratingdaenggym via late rounds TKO.

The Saga of Pongsaklek Wonjongkam

Once again, the WBC flyweight champion from Thailand has managed to avoid facing his mandatory challenger – at least temporarily. This time however, it is his opponent’s promoter, Branco Milenkovic who requested more time for his charge to prepare for the bout.

“June 30th was supposed to be the date of the fight and three weeks is not enough time to prepare for a great fighter like Pongsaklek Wonjongkam,” said Milenkovic.

“We have agreed to allow Wonjongkam to defend his title against Everardo Morales of Mexico with the stipulation that the winner must fight Monelisi Myekeni within 90 days,” he continued.

Wonjongkam’s fight with Morales is set to take place in Bangkok, but Milenkovic is hoping to lure the Thai to South Africa by “making him an offer he can’t refuse” if he wins his bout with Morales.

Thai TV stations are running daily commercial asking viewers to support their great champion as he attempts to set the record for consecutive flyweight title defenses with a fifteenth win over his next opponent. Most Thai fans don’t know and don’t care it’s been two and a half years since Wonjongkam has faced a mandatory challenger; the last being Hussein Hussein. They should but they don’t.

Wonjongkam looks forward to being inducted into the Hall of Fame – the WBC Hall of Shame that is. If he were vying for entry into the International Boxing Hall of Fame it might mean something. But the gig is up – boxing fans outside of Thailand view his championship reign as nothing more than smoke and mirrors – as well they should.

Fourteen title defenses and counting – maybe in his long reign he’ll manage garner a victory against someone of quality. Don’t hold your breath though.

Upcoming Fights in Asia

June 20th, 2006 – Bangkok, Thailand (Tentative)
Ratanachai Sor Vorapin vs. Pederito Laurente

June 30th, 2006 – Bangkok, Thailand
Pongsaklek Wonjongkam vs. Everardo Morales

July 2nd, 2006 – Areneta Coliseum, Manila, Philippines
Manny Pacquiao vs. Oscar Larios
WBC International Super Featherweight Title

Gerry Penalosa vs. Tomas Rojas
Jimrex Jaca vs. Adrian Valdez
Rey Bautista vs. Alejandro Felix Montiel

July 15th, 2006 – Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Hozumi Hasegawa vs. Genaro Garcia
WBC Bantamweight Title

July 18th – Nonthaburi, Thailand
Juanito Rubillar vs. Wandee Singwancha

Sataporn Singwancha vs. Kiatchai 13 Riantower
Sirimongkol Singwancha vs. TBA

July 20th, 2006 – Location TBA
Pramuansak Phosuwan vs. Sherwin Paro

July 22, 2006 – Higashiosaka, Japan
Martin Castilllo vs. Nobuo Nashiro
WBA Super Flyweight Title

July 27, 2006 – Ratchaburi, Thailand
Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai vs. TBA
Chonlataran Pariyapinyo vs. TBA

August 25, 2006 – Nonthaburi, Thailand
Veeraphol Sahaprom vs. Hidenobu Honda
Napapol Kiatisakchokchai vs. Yoichi Oguma