It was short, sweet and to the point. Six-foot tall Celestino Caballero of Panama wasted no time in showing he is one of the best super bantamweights in the world when he obliterated Somsak Sithchatchawal in three rounds to win the WBA title. Earlier this year Sithchatchawal snatched the title from Mahyar Monshipour in a ten-round, Paris slugfest and looked to be the favorite. This time however it would be Sithchatchawal who was in over his head.
The first round started off at a snail’s pace with both fighters content to move around the ring flicking jabs and probing for weaknesses. Caballero pawed with his long jab while the southpaw Sithchatchawal bounced around the ring throwing feints and an occasional jab. Caballero popped out four jabs and then ripped into the champion with a left hook – right hook combination that won the round.
Sithchatchawal came out fast in round two, moving forward and firing his right jab. Caballero fired out his own jab and moved from left to right, avoiding the wide punches of Sithchatchawal. The champion showed good head movement as he shuffled in and landed a right. A straight right from Sithchatchawal bludgeoned the left eye of Caballero and the Panamanian quickly moved against the ropes, blinking as the champion bore in. As Sithchatchawal scored with his best punches of the fight, Caballero spun out and the two traded wildly in the center of the ring. Caballero closed the round strong with three right hooks in a row but the round belonged to the champion.
The first thirty seconds of round three saw both fighters tentatively looking for openings; Caballero lunged in with a long right that snapped back the head of Sithchatchawal and seconds later a right uppercut downed the champion for the first time in the fight. He rose quickly but wavered in the scorching heat. Caballero seized the moment, first snapping out a range-finding jab and then unleashing a sizzling one-two combination that put Sithchatchawal on the seat of his pants.
Once again the champion rose quickly and when asked by referee John Coyle if he was ok, quickly and enthusiastically stated “yes.” But the fight was as good as over.
The Panamanian challenger fired out a quick left-right combination that landed solidly and Sithchatchawal stumbled backwards to the ropes. In a last ditch effort to snub defeat, Sithchatchawal flailed at Caballero, missing with two punches. Sensing the end was near; Caballero powered his way in and landed a flurry of punches. A huge right discombobulated the champion and he crumbled to the canvas. The three knockdown rule was in effect and a new champion was crowned.
“I worked very hard for this fight,” said Caballero. “I knew I was going to get him. I felt my punches were strong and he was feeling them every time I landed.”
When asked if he was distracted by the remote location of the bout, Caballero, a devout Muslim, professed his faith in God, “I don’t care where I fight because I know God will be with me!”
The show was a celebration of the eighty-third birthday of one of the most highly revered monks in Thailand, Luang Phor Khoon Parisuttho. The monk was ill however and unable to attend the event.
Approximately 5000 were in attendance.
Caballero’s victory adds another championship fighter to the promotional duo of Warriors Boxing Promotion and Sycuan Ringside Promotions. In addition to Caballero, their current roster includes Israel Vasquez, Carlos Baldomir, Joan Guzman, Julio Diaz, Jorge Paez Jr., Mauricio Martinez and undefeated cruiserweight, Shawn Hawk.
Caballero is set to fight again in January however his opponent has yet to be determined.
Immediately after the bout Sithchatchawal was rushed to the hospital with a broken nose.
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On the undercard, former IBF Minimumweight Champion Ratanapol Sor Vorapin (46-6-1, 35 KO’s) continued his march to mediocrity going six rounds with first time fighter Christian Collado (0-1). Since being knocked out by Ricardo Lopez in 2000, Sor Vorapin has fought seven times against opponents whose records total 19-15-9. The Thai is a ring-worn thirty-two years old and looks to round out his career fighting opponents he knows he has no chance of losing too.
Also on the card, Kaichon Sor Vorapin used Janrey Verano as punching bag for six rounds to win a unanimous decision, Rayan Maliteg won a six-round decision over Narindech Sakchatree and Kosol Sor Vorapin scored a unanimous decision over six rounds to defeat Jake Verano.
WBC #2 Ranked Flyweight Victorious
WBC ABCO champion Panomroonglek Kratingdaeng scored a ten-round unanimous decision over WBC Youth champion Lito Sisnorio in a fast-moving bout that demonstrated why Kratingdaenggym doesn’t belong in the top-ten much less second. Sisnorio pressed the action for the duration of the fight throwing and landing more blows than the Thai up until the sixth round. From that point Kratingdaeng seemed to have the edge.
The judges’ scores: 100-90, 98-92 and 97-93. The Sweet Science scored it 96-94 in favor of Kratingdaenggym – and this is generous. Sisnorio missed with many of his punches, however, was far more active than Kratingdaenggym, and a score of 100-90 stinks of a hometown decision.
The WBC’s flyweight rankings overlook many of the better fighters in the division. The Thai has beaten zero fighters of quality and is simply being positioned to take over the WBC’s flyweight division once Pongsaklek Wonjongkam retires. Deserving the ranking isn’t what got him there.
Manager for Sahaprom Claims Marquez Fight is Only Rumor
In a phone call a few hours ago, Suchart Pissitwuttinun, manager for former WBC and WBA bantamweight champion Veeraphol Sahaprom, emphatically stated the rumors of a proposed Sahaprom – Rafael Marquez fights are completely false.
”We have not been contacted by any of Marquez’s people. Nothing has been presented to us and we haven’t contacted them. Please help me squelch this rumor. Tell boxing fans that we have no plans of fighting Marquez and as of now have nothing planned for Veeraphol.”
Several other sources behind the scene claim his statement is simply a delaying tactic to finalize negotiations. Their skepticism comes from the WBC removing Sahaprom from their rankings and adding an asterisk to his name; N/A – IBF. If Marquez does fight Sahaprom, it’s not going to last for long.
Coming Later This Month
Virat Vajiratanawongse – Promoter for Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, President of Diamond Promotions (Petchyindee Promotions)
Muangchai Kitticasem – Former light flyweight champion
Professional Boxing Association of Thailand / Sports Authority
On Tap In The Future
In Jin Chi, Rudy Lopez, Saman Sorjaturong, Sot Chitalada, Saensak Muangsurin and Saen Sor Ploenchit
November 18, 1996: Former defense minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh led Thailand’s New Aspiration Party to victory in elections and then recruited five other parties to form a coalition government. The greatly revered Buddhist monk Luang Phor Khoon Parisuttho later endorsed Yongchaiyudh and nicknamed him “fatso.” The government lasted only a year.