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Articles of 2006

Caballero Clobbers Thai, Wins Title

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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.

* * *

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

Thai Tidbits

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.

Articles of 2006

Peter/Toney Ii: Peter Has The Brutal Punch

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Samuel Peter claims he has dynamites in my two hands?

Heavyweight contenders Samuel “The Nigerian Nightmare” Peter and James Lights Out? Toney get it on a second time this Saturday from the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Fla. (Showtime).

The hard-slugging Peter, unlike Toney, is one of those strong, silent types notorious for letting their fists to the talking one the opening bell sounds, but the Nigeria Nightmare is as confident as ever and determined to turn Lights Out’s lights out for good.

I have got dynamites in my two hands,? said Peter, according the Lagos, Nigeria Vanguard, and I will crush James Toney once and for all. The Toney camp made the mistake of their lives by protesting and seeking a rematch. I am ready to teach him a bitter lesson.?

Sam Peter walked away with the W for Peter/Toney I at the Staples Center in LA last September, but it was by disputed split decision a verdict so disputed, there was even a dispute about the dispute which forced the WBC’s hand into mandating Saturday’s rematch.

Samuel Peter is the biggest thing to hit African boxing since Ghanaian superstar Azumah Nelson rocked the feather and junior welterweight divisions. The President of the Nigeria Boxing Board of Control, Prince Olaide Adeboye, admitted, according to allAfrica.com, We are rooting for Samuel Peter, of course. He is one boy we believe in to bring back the country’s lost glory in professional boxing. I am personally making arrangement to be at the ringside to see him fight Toney again. I was at the first fight in Los Angeles in September.

Peter has the brutal punch, and to me he was the clear winner of the first fight. But the WBC Board of Governors, of which I am a member, voted 21-10 for a rematch. There was nothing those of us Africans on the board could do in the circumstances. But I believe Peter will confirm he is better than Toney and will then go ahead to meet the champion and claim the belt for Nigeria and Africa.?

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Articles of 2006

The Sweet Science P4P Rankings for Asia

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There are claims that boxing is dying. Hogwash. The heavyweight division isn’t the only division in boxing and 2007 promises to be a banner year in boxing; especially for boxers hailing from Asia.

While Asia isn’t Vegas or Atlantic City, it is a region packed of diamonds in the rough; undiscovered gems and potential superstars who wait for their moment in the sun.

The Sweet Science P4P Rankings – Asia

1) Manny Pacquiao – There’s no way to dispute Pacquiao is the best fighter in Asia, if not all of boxing. He’s exciting, he wins with Je Ne Sais Quois and is definitely “the man” in boxing.

2) Pongsaklek Wonjongkam – Although his competition leaves much to be desired, his longevity and skills are undeniable. He is currently Thailand’s only world champion and is undefeated in ten years. Need I say more?

3) Chris John – A victory over Juan Manuel Marquez, however controversial, shows he belongs at the top of the heap. He easily outpointed Renan Acosta to close out 2006 and should have no trouble defending against Jose Rojas in February. A fight with Pacquiao would not be a good move on his part but a rematch with Marquez would not hurt – especially if he defeats the Mexican again.

4) Hozumi Hasegawa – Hidden away in Japan, Hasegawa is a sharp punching southpaw who put former champion Veeraphol Sahaprom to sleep. He recently bested Genaro Garcia and his herky-jerky style will give fits to any one who steps in the ring with him.

5) Masomori Tokuyama – Tokuyama has never shied away from a good fight and although he only fought once in 2006 (UD12 Jose Navarro), he ledger shows wins over Katsushige Kawashima (twice), Gerry Penalosa (twice) and In Jin Chi (twice). A fight with Hozumi Hasegawa is a distinct possibility in 2007.

6) Nobuo Nashiro – With only seven fights under his belt he took on WBA champion Martin Castillo – and defeated him. Although he’s only fought a total of nine fights, nearly all have been against quality opposition. A victory in a rematch with Castillo would cement his claim as the king of the 115-pound division.

7) Yukata Niida – This light-hitting minimumweight defended his title twice in 2006, winning a technical decision against unbeaten Eriberto Gejon (Tech Win 10) and the other on points over Ronald Barrera (W 12). Scheduled to meet Katsunari Takayama early next year – the best has yet to come for this WBA belt holder.

8) In Jin Chi – Won back the title he lost to Takashi Koshimoto in January from Rudolfo Lopez. While there’s little uncertainty to his skills, at thirty-three, 2007 may provide some insight as to just how much he has left.

9) Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai –Sor Nonthachai is an exciting, top-shelf fighter with an iron chin. Has no trouble making mincemeat of mid-level opposition and deserves a title shot in 2007. Time is running out.

10) Rey Bautista – He’s young, relatively inexperienced in big-time boxing, but will continue to shine in 2007. One of the better prospects in boxing, he should snag a title in 2007.

Asian Fighters Ranked in Ring Magazine

Pound for Pound:

Manny Pacquiao (Philippines): #2

Jr. Lightweight

Manny Pacquiao (Philippines): #1
Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai: #9

Featherweight

Chris John (Indonesia) #1
In Jin Chi (Korea) #3
Takashi Koshimoto (Japan) #5
Hioyuki Enoki (Japan) #7

Jr. Featherweight

Somsak Sithchatchawal (Thailand) #4

Bantamweight

Hozumi Hasegawa (Japan) #2
Veeraphol Sahaprom (Japan) #3
Ratanachai Sor Vorapin (Thailand) #6
Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym (Thailand) #10

Jr. Bantamweight

Nobuo Nashiro (Japan) #1
Katsushige Kawashima (Japan) #7
Pramuansak Phosuwan (Thailand) #10

Flyweight

Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (Thailand) #1
Takefumi Sakata (Japan) #7
Daisuke Naito (Japan) #10

Jr. Flyweight

Koki Kameda (Japan) #1

Minimumweight

Yukata Naiida (Japan) #2
Eagle Kyowa (Japan/Thai) #4
Katsunari Takayama (Japan) #5
Rodel Mayol (Philippines) #7

Boxing in Thailand

There’s no shortage of boxers in Thailand. With a huge pool of Muay Thai fighters to draw from and several talented amateur boxing prospects turning pro after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Thailand seems destined to remain a boxing powerhouse in Asia.

The country is known for having tough, determined and disciplined fighters who give their all whenever the step in to the ring. However, consistently losing while fighting abroad and padding their records with no-hopers has done nothing to enhance their reputation.

Whether because of a lack of marketability, a lack of funds or their unwillingness to travel abroad, the vast majority of boxers from Thailand remain a mystery to fans in the west. If anything though, the boxing scene involving Thai fighters will be active. In fact, it’s one of the most active in the world; since 2000, the number of fights has nearly doubled in the country.

The Sweet Science P4P Rankings – Thailand – August 2006

1) Pongsaklek Wonjongkam
2) Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym
3) Somsak Sithchatchawal
4) Wandee Singwancha
5) Sirimongkol Singwancha
6) Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai
7) Veeraphol Sahaprom
8) Pramuansak Phosuwan
9) Terdsak Jandaeng
10) Oleydong Sithamerchai

Current Sweet Science P4P Rankings – Thailand

1) Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (Flyweight) – Definitely the top dog in Thailand

2) Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai (Super Lightweight) – He’s a seasoned fighter who has proven himself in the big-time. He’s one Thai who can fight outside of Asia. He has an abundance of skills and one-punch power. His overall ability and ease in dispatching anyone other than championship caliber get him the runners-up spot.

3) Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym (Super Bantamweight) – After losing to Vladimir Sidorenko he’s bounced back. He’s young, he can punch, but the former interim champion needs to prove himself against a name fighter.

4) Somsak Sithchatchawal (Super Bantamweight) – Was his win over Monshipour a fluke or was Celestino Caballero just that good? Did Sithchatchawal catch Monshipour at the right time and can he rebound from the devastating loss? The jury is still out.

5) Wandee Singwancha (Flyweight) – He doesn’t have much of a punch which will be his downfall in the end. He can box, as was evidenced in his recent victory over Juanito Rubillar, but this won’t be enough. He can no longer make the Jr. Flyweight limit and with no punch he’ll have a hard time competing against the “big boys.” Although he’s now rated second by the WBC, he doesn’t deserve to be.

5) Sirimongkol Singwancha (Super Lightweight) – Get this guy a fight. He’s better than Jose Armando Santa Cruz and would have beat up Inada had the fight taken place. He’ll fight anyone but his biggest obstacle is staying motivated fighting tomato cans in Thailand. Like many Thais, he needs a fight against a name opponent.
6) Wandee Singwancha (Flyweight) – He doesn’t have much of a punch which will be his downfall in the end. He can box, as was evidenced in his recent victory over Juanito Rubillar, but this won’t be enough. He can no longer make the Jr. Flyweight limit and with no punch he’ll have a hard time competing against the “big boys.” Although he’s now rated second by the WBC, he doesn’t deserve to be.

7) Pramuansak Phosuwan (Super Flyweight) – A genuine tough guy. Always calm and focused no matter how heated the battle. But at thirty-eight, he’ll be in trouble should he fight one of the division’s elite.
8) Veeraphol Sahaprom (Bantamweight) – Will be lucky to get another crack at the title. Although he has a puncher’s chance of winning a belt, that’s about all he has left at this point. A third shot at Hasegawa is unlikely.

9) Oleydong Sithamerchai (Minimumweight) – He’s fought better than the usual opponents faced by Thais at his level and he moves up one spot with the departure of Terdsak Jandaeng. He lacks the punch and is in the wrong division to become a superstar. He’ll need to defeat a name opponent to convince me.

10) Saenghiran Lookbanyai / Napapol Kittisakchokchai (Super Bantamweight) – These two square-off in early March, supposedly to see who deserves a shot at Israel Vasquez. Kittisakchokchai has the edge in experience but some feel Lookbanyai has the edge in heart and is the favorite.

Neither has defeated a top twenty fighter and yet are ranked number one and two respectively in the WBC’s world.

In Kittisakchokchoi’s lone shot at the big-time, he was TKO’d in 10 by Oscar Larios. His dreadful performance against Larios and lack of quality opposition leads me to believe Saenghiran might have more of a shot at beating him than some suspect. Regardless, neither of them lasts longer than six rounds with Israel Vasquez.

Honorable Mention: Wethya Sakmuangklang, Denkaosan Kaovichit, Devid Lookmahanak, Nethra Sasiprapa, Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo, Pornsawan Kratingdaenggym

Thai Fighters Ranked in Ring Magazine

Pongsaklek Wonjongkam: #1 Flyweight
Pramuansak Phosuwan: #10 Jr. Bantamweight
Veeraphol Sahaprom: #3 Bantamweight
Ratanachai Sor Vorapin: #6 Bantamweight
Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym: #10 Bantamweight
Somsak Sithchatchawal: #3 Jr. Featherweight
Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai: #9 Lightweight

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Articles of 2006

Iceman Stops Tito Ortiz Win Streak

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LAS VEGAS—UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck “Iceman” Liddell’s fists proved too much for Huntington Beach’s Tito Ortiz who was stopped in the third round before a sold out crowd at the MGM Garden Arena on Saturday.

The punching machine Liddell (20-3, 13 KOs) repeated his victory in UFC 66 over the much-improved grappler Ortiz who has improved his punching and blocking. Ortiz was trying to avenge his loss of April 2004.

Despite all the new weapons displayed by Ortiz it wasn’t enough as Liddell pummeled the former champion and retained his title with a technical knockout at 3:59 of the third round. Referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the bout.

“This was the most satisfying victory of my career,” said Liddell, 36, of Santa Barbara. “Tito came back real tough.”

Ortiz (15-5, 8 KOs), a former wrestler, worked on his boxing technique knowing he would need it against the former boxer Liddell. But Liddell’s experience allowed him to find the right moment to pounce on Ortiz.

“I had him hurt, I just kept throwing punches,” said Liddell who also knocked down Ortiz in the first round with a left hook.

Ortiz was gracious in defeat.

“Chuck is the best fighter Pound for Pound in the (mixed martial arts) world,” said Ortiz, 31, who suffered a gash on the side of his left eye from a punch. “I’m disgusted by myself. I let my fans down.”

Other bouts

Underdog Keith Jardine (12-3-1) knocked out Forrest Griffin (13-4) at 4:41 of the first round in their light heavyweight showdown. A right uppercut followed by a left hook wobbled Griffin who was sent to the floor by a barrage of punches. On the ground Jardine landed right after right until referee John McCarthy stopped the fight for a technical knockout.

“I couldn’t believe he was hurt,” said Jardine about Griffin who is known for his resiliency. “I was so nervous coming into this fight, but now I know I belong here.”

Canada’s Jason McDonald (18-7) choked out Chris Leben (15-3) in a middleweight bout that was up for grabs. Though Leben seemed to control the fight with stunning left hands, once the fight went to the ground McDonald managed a chokehold at 4:03 of the second round. Referee Steve Mazagatti saw Leben was unconscious and stopped the fight.

Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski (12-5) caught Brazil’s Mario Cruz (2-2) with a sneak right hand while both were tangled on the ground. Then the Belarusian pummeled Cruz until referee Herb Dean stopped the fight at 3:15 of the first round.

Third season winner of the Ultimate Fighter television reality season Michael Bisping (12-0) of Great Britain won by technical knockout over Eric Shafer (9-2-2) at 4:29 of the first round. A knee knocked Shafer groggy then Bisping knocked him to the ground and pounded him. Referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the bludgeoning.

Thiago Alves (16-4) caught Peru’s Tony De Souza (15-5) with a knee as he attempted to dive for his legs in a welterweight contest. After that it was pretty much over as Alves pummeled De Souza at 1:10 of the second round forcing referee John McCarthy to halt the bout.

Gabriel Gonzago (7-1) proved too strong for Carmelo Marrero (6-1) in a heavyweight bout. At 3:22 of the first round Gonzago of Massachusetts manipulated his way into arm bar forcing Pennsylvania’s Marrero to tap out.

Japan’s Yushin Okami (19-3) pounded Georgia’s Rory Singer (11-6) into submission at 4:03 of the third round of a middleweight bout. Okami seemed the more-rounded fighter with effective kicks to the head and more accurate punching.

Christian Wellisch (8-2) jumped to a quick start with an accurate left hook that rattled Australia’s Anthony Perosh (5-3) in a heavyweight bout. During the first round it seemed the Sacramento fighter might end the fight but the Aussie hung tough. Wellisch won by unanimous decision.

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