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Articles of 2006

Yellow Tiger Fan Club



It is early evening and getting dark as the car speeds down the highway back towards Bangkok. A cell phone rings repeatedly and Yellow Tiger barks out the same phrase to the callers, “Somsak lost by third round knockout, Somsak lost by third round knockout.” Somsak Sithchatchawal had just been knocked out by Celestino Caballero in a bout that shocked Thai fans and left them wondering how it could happen. It was Yellow Tiger’s job to let them know.

He embarked upon his career as a boxing writer some thirty years ago, ten years before the championship reign of the great Khaosai Galaxy. Now Thailand’s number one boxing journalist, his readers know him only by his nom de plume, Yellow Tiger, and one other distinguishing feature; a lazy left eye that he’s had since birth.

In 1975, Yellow Tiger met and married a go-go dancer in Phuket, Thailand. At the time, he was struggling to make ends meet working as a fisherman. Madly in love, he worked hard to build a life with his new wife; she had other ideas however. After a year of marriage and unrelenting poverty, it became too much for her to bear. One day while Yellow Tiger was out at sea, she packed her bags and left, never again to be seen again. He was devastated.

Not one to let life pass him by, Yellow Tiger quickly decided he was in need of a drastic life change. So he hopped on a fishing truck and headed for Bangkok in search of a new life. He had just 85 baht ($2.25) to his name and was completely alone.

”It was rough at first,” he said. “I was in bad shape. Nobody would give me a job and even the Soi dogs (Street dogs) were scared of me.

He says this without any hint of a smile.

Within a few days though, he landed a job as a janitor at Nonthaburi Boxing Stadium. It was there he nurtured his love for Muay Thai and Boxing into a career. He worked at the stadium for a few years, learning the ins and outs of the sport and making valuable connections. The stadium eventually closed but he used his contacts to find a job as an office boy at the now defunct Boxing and Muay Thai Magazine.

His love for Boxing and Muay Thai pushed him to begin studying the different styles of the writers at the magazine and to give writing a shot. It wasn’t easy; he had only a third grade education and was untrained in the ways of journalism. Not long after being hired, though, he had his first article published and before long he was writing full-time for the magazine.

It was while at the Boxing and Muay Thai Magazine he was given the name most know him by, Yellow Tiger. Malaysians are sometimes referred to as “Tiger People” because of the abundance of tigers in the region. Phuket, where Yellow Tiger hails from, is next to the Malaysian border. Since he was the only southern Thai working at the magazine, his editor, Prateep Buaram, came up with the nickname Yellow Tiger to give the readers a name they could easily remember. It stuck and decades later it’s the name he is known by.

Unlike many of Thailand’s sports writers who refrain from negative comments in fear of reprisal, Yellow Tiger is always eager to speak his mind – especially when it comes to Pongsaklek Wonjongkam.

”Fans figure the fights are free so they don’t complain about whom boxers from Thailand are fighting,” he said. ”They don’t care as much about the quality of the opponent as much as whether or not the fighter they’re cheering for wins or loses. But they’re smart enough to realize Pongsaklek Wonjongkam hasn’t fought as many quality fighters as Khaosai Galaxy.”

Every week Yellow Tiger bets on the underground Thai lottery. His numbers, 8558, represent a turning point in his life. 85 for the 85 baht he had when he came to Bangkok and 58 because in the past he has won using these numbers. Every week the numbers are the same, 8558.

He is convinced these numbers come up at least once a year.

Yellow Tiger now acts as a Muay Thai consultant for Omnoi Stadium and is the public relations director for Petchyindee Boxing’s Muay Thai division.

He also writes for the Muay Lok (Boxing World) Magazine where he has his own fan club, Chik Song or The Open Envelope. Despite not speaking a word of English, he has traveled the globe covering fights and has met some of the biggest names in boxing.

Not bad for once poverty-stricken fisherman in need of a life change.

News and Notes

Contrary to internet rumors, Veeraphol Sahaprom will not be fighting Rafael Marquez. The Thai intends to try to win either the WBC interim bantamweight title or the IBF interim bantamweight title. Sahaprom will first square off against South African fighter Michael Bayoma on November 10.

* * *

Juanito Rubillar is itching for a rematch against former WBC interim light flyweight champion Wandee Singwancha. According to Filipino boxing writer Ronnie Nathanielz, Rubillar would like to avenge the “controversial loss” he suffered in July of this year.

Newsflash…Rubillar’s loss was not controversial.

Unless Rubillar plans to move up to flyweight, a rematch is not going to happen as Singwancha is seeking a matchup with the WBC’s flyweight poster boy, Pongsaklek Wonjongkam. This matchup also looks doubtful, as there is a question of who will promote the bout.

* * *

Thailand’s Yoddamrong Sityodtong (45-5-1, 20 KOs) travels to England to challenge Harry Ramogoadi (15-5-2, 2 KOs) of South Africa. Sityodtong, the former WBA super-bantamweight champion, has dropped his last three bouts and desperately needs a win. Ramogoadi’s last fight was in July 2005 when he stopped Commonwealth Games gold medal winner Jaime Arthur. The two square off December 5 for the WBF super bantamweight title in celebration of the King of Thailand’s birthday.

October Tidbits

1910: Walter A. Dipley shoots world Middleweight Champion Stanley Ketchel, 24, to death at a Missouri ranch. Dipley was infuriated when kitchen cook Daisy Johnson spurned his advances, instead opting for Ketchel. Ketchel was shot in the back and died shortly thereafter.

1962: Boxing journalist Scott Mallon is born in Coral Gables, Florida. It’s been all downhill since.

1978: Yoko Gushiken knocks out Sang Il Chung in five rounds to retain his WBA Junior Flyweight Title in Tokyo, Japan.

Upcoming Fights

October 31, 2006 – Chaiyaphum, Thailand

Somchai Nakbalee vs. Fernando Montilla
Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai vs. Sataporn Singwangcha

November 7, 2006 – Grand Cube, Osaka, Japan

Katsunari Takayama vs.Carlos Melo
WBA Interim Minimumweight Title

November 10, 2006 – MCC Hall, The Mall Bang Khae, Bangkok, Thailand

Devid Lookmahanak vs. Marvin Tampus
Veeraphol Sahaprom vs. Michael Bayoma
Napapol Kiatisakchokchai vs. Thomas Mashaba
Thong Por Chokchai vs. Obote Ameme

November 13, 2006 – Nihon Budokan, Tokyo, Japan

Hozumi Hasegawa vs. Genaro Garcia
WBC Bantamweight Title

Eagle Kyowa vs. Lorenzo Trejo
WBC Minimumweight Title

November 17, 2006 – Korat, Thailand

Pongsaklek Wonjongkam vs. Monelisi Mhikiza Myekeni
WBC Flyweight Title

November 25, 2006 – Suntec Intnl. Convention Centre, Singapore

Solomon Egberime vs. Dondon Sultan
Emmett Gazzard vs. Thongcharoen Suwanasil
Mo Razan vs. ?
Dave Dowden vs. David Alexis

November 26, 2006 – Seoul, Korea

In Jin Chi vs. Rudolfo Lopez
WBC Featherweight Title

January 6, 2007 – Indonesia (Site TBA)

Naoufel Ben Rabah vs. Lovemore N'dou
IBF Light Welterweight Title Eliminator

Articles of 2006

Peter/Toney Ii: Peter Has The Brutal Punch



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, 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



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


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

Jr. Featherweight

Somsak Sithchatchawal (Thailand) #4


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


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

Jr. Flyweight

Koki Kameda (Japan) #1


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



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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