A report from Philboxing.com claims “Pound-for-pound star and IBF bantamweight champ Rafael Marquez has chosen a less dangerous opponent for his next title defense, as his planned December 2 showdown with Filipino Gerry Peñalosa has been scrapped in favor of an aging Thai ex-champion. Reports coming out of Mexico reveal that Marquez is now going to face the 37-year-old Veerapol Sahaprom of Thailand on November 7, a fight that will surely not help Marquez any in boosting his marketability worldwide. “

Although the fight is shown as a done deal on BoxRec.com, The Sweet Science contacted Nakornluang Promotions who stated “We would love to fight Marquez however we have received nothing from his people. Normally we receive a fax with the pertinent details however as of 9:00 AM Bangkok time, September 12th, no such information has been received. We have heard about the fight in the news however as of now, we are not in negotiations nor have we received any information from the Marquez camp.”

Personally I’d rather not see the fight happen – Sahaprom was destroyed by Hozumi Hasegawa and his only chance of beating Marquez is if he's allowed to use brass knuckles instead of gloves. Sahaprom is looking for one last big payday and title shot. With Marquez he should get both but bet the house, the bank and your last piece of clothing on Marquez; this fight won't go four rounds should it happen.

To call Sahaprom “less dangerous” than Penalosa is a stretch at best. Sahaprom is every bit the knockout artist Penalosa is and then some. Sure he’s had his better days and is four years older than Penalosa but neither fighter has had a meaningful win since 2000. In other words, Penalosa is no more dangerous than Sahaprom and both fighters are past their prime.

How about a fight between Sahaprom and Penalosa in Japan or Dubai or any place other than in Thailand or the Philippines? Maybe one Thai judge, one Filipino judge and a neutral judge from Iceland or Switzerland would avoid one of those hometown decisions.

Thai Tidbits:

February 20, 1985: After successfully defending his WBC flyweight title against Charlie Magri, Sot Chitalada’s purse check for $104,000 was stolen by a ringside pickpocket. Chitalada won the bout by TKO in round 5.

Results from Thailand

University of Thurakit Bandtit, Bangkok, Thailand – August 31, 2006

Denkaosan Kaovichit (35-1, 15 KOs) scored a boring, unanimous twelve round decision over Nino Suelo (5-12-1, 3 KOs). Although Kaovichit is ranked thirteenth by the WBO, he’s not nearly as good as his record might lead you to believe. He may be good enough to win and hold one of those “PABA” titles but don’t count on him winning a world title.

Sairung Sawanasil knocked out Rick “Don’t Call me Rex” Paciones in two rounds. Paciones was lucky to last a full round and the bout took only slightly longer than figuring out his real name. Although the Filipino’s real name is Rick Paciones, the Thai spelling of his name somehow translated to Rex Pasones in English. Thus he was referred to as Rex Pasones, several times. Deciphering this was more exciting than the fight with the exception of the blow that put me out of my misery and Paciones on a plane back to the Philippines.

Remember the Punching Prisoners, Nongmai and Siriporn Sor Siriporn? They’re back…Goody.

First up was former women’s title contender Nongmai Sor Siriporn. The Thai squared off against first-time, professional pugilist Bahatanyu Paradon Gym, also of Thailand. I liked Nongmai “the fighter” when she was in prison with nothing to do but train. She was motivated, dedicated and took her craft seriously – she showed progress. Now a free woman, she’s enjoying life on the outside and it showed. A lazy and complacent Nongmai was decisively whooped by Paradon Gym over four rounds in a battle of the limited.

There are talks of Nongmai fighting in Singapore or Hong Kong for some sort of “championship.” Yea, that’s right, a “championship.” Of what, I don’t know and I suspect it really doesn’t matter.

The still-incarcerated Siriporn Sor Siriporn did manage to defeat Bang On Kiatruenpetch by unanimous decision. She’s got another two years in the pokey but unless she gets another gift (and she might), she won’t be fighting for a title anytime soon.

Samut Songkram, Thailand – September 7, 2006

Chatchai Sasakul (56-3. 36 KOs) UD12 Yuki Murai (11-9-4, 3 KOs)

Aging former champion Chatchai Sasakul successfully defended his ABCO title against Yuki Murai of Japan with a hard fought, twelve round unanimous decision. Sasakul looked every bit his age, throwing one punch at a time and fighting thirty seconds of each round instead of the full three minutes.

“I’m an old man and this guy is young. I can’t keep punching like when I was his age,” said Sasakul.

Sasakul may face Thai prospect Devid Lookmahanak early next year and if so, forget about it, he doesn’t stand a chance!

Medgoen Singsurat (43-4, 31 KOs) KO3 Jonathan Gonzalez (0-1)

Late replacement Medgoen Singsurat made short work of Jonathan “Scrubby” Gonzalez.  WBC flyweight champion Pongsaklek Wonjongkam had been slated to fight Gonzalez however pulled out due to an illness. It didn’t prevent him from being ringside and in the corner however.

Why would the boxing commission(s) of Thailand, plural, allow a fighter who has never fought professionally to face Wonjongkam or Singsurat? After all, Wonjongkam is a record-setting world champion and Singsurat is no slouch either, knocking out Manny Pacquiao in 1999. Gonzales is also a fighter who has not received his letter of authority from the Games and Amusement Board of the PI (boxing commission) but apparently this doesn’t matter to the promoter or boxing commissions of Thailand.

Draw your own conclusions – anyway you look at it there’s no excuse for these sorts of fights.

In a toe-to-toe battle, Noknoi Sitthiprasert pounded out a ten round unanimous decision over Liu Yong Jun (China)

Techonogy University, Bangkok, Thailand – September 8, 2006

Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym (25-1, 16 KOs) vs. Jonathan Ba-at (3-1, 1 KO)

In his first bout since losing to Vladimir Sidorenko in July, former WBA interim bantamweight champion Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym pulverized Jonathan Ba-at, knocking him out with a body punch at 2:05 of the second round. With the victory Poonsawat picks up the PABA title. Poonsawat looked sharp and did all he could to demonstrate why Ba-at shouldn’t set foot in the same ring with him.

Another ridiculous and meaningless bout. Slapping a championship on a fight like this doesn’t do anything other than mask the obvious.

Upcoming Fights:

September 25th, 2006 – City Hall, Nakornpathom Province, Thailand

Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo (15-0, 7 KOs) vs. Yoddamrong Sithyodtong (45-4-1, 20 KOs)

On September 25th, the WBC’s #11 ranked featherweight, Chonlatarn Piriyapino steps in against 29 year-old, former WBA super bantamweight champion Yoddamrong Sithyodtong. Piriyapinyo has the skills to beat the one-hit wonder ex-champion and should outbox him to win a unanimous decision. Sithyodtong won the WBA super bantamweight title from Yober Ortega in Feb. 2002 and lost his first defense to Osamu Sato of Japan.