Rungnarai Kiatmookao, the Lumpinee superflyweight champion, is the king of the division in Thailand. But as matchmaking in Thailand is heavily based on gambling interest, he’s been forced to take fights at bantamweight recently with mixed success. He’s suffered two knockout losses this year at the hands of bigger fighters like Detchaiya or Yothin and seems to have reached the point where his skills aren’t enough to reliably bridge the physical gap between him and his opponents.
He was faced with a fairer and in my opinion much more interesting challenge this week, defending his title at a catchweight of 112.5lbs against the Rajadamnern flyweight champion Phetsommai Sor Sommai. Phetsommai like Rungnarai is a great technician and the best in Thailand at his weight and the match up can definitely be called a superfight.
(Fight starts at 1:21:00)
After a feeling out period, the fight started for a good in the third when Rungnarai scored a knockdown with a brilliant lean back to left hook counter off of a Phetsommai left high kick. Phetsommai put in a good effort to try to get back into the fight with his boxing and elbows but Rungnarai was excellent defensively, chose his spots to clinch and scored with his great teep to get the decision.
The fight was an exhibition of Muay Thai at its highest level and was hopefully the start of a long rivalry as Phetsommai definitely proved to be worthy foe to Rungnarai despite the loss.
On the same card, Yothin FA Group (red corner, #7 bantamweight at Rajadamnern, #4 at Lumpinee) faced Samingdet Nor.Anuwatgym (blue corner, #9 superbantamweight at Rajadamnern, #8 at Lumpinee) perhaps the best elbow specialist in Thailand now that Muangthai is on the downside of his stadium career.
(Fight starts at 1:49:00)
Samingdet put in some great elbow work in the third and seemed to have done enough when the 5th started. However both fighters appeared to think they had it and they danced much of the last round away and took their chances with the judges. The verdict ended up being a draw, which I personally don’t see as I think Samingdet was a clear winner, but controversial decisions are as much a part of Muay thai as they are any combat sport.
Still at Lumpinee, Satanmuanglek Petchyindee (red corner) is coming back to Muay Thai more regularly after spending much of the last two years in boxing, where he put in a good but unsuccessful effort against Japan’s Hiroto Kyoguchi for the WBA flyweight title in June. Welcoming him back was a familiar opponent, Phetnarin Jitmuangnon (#8 flyweight at Rajadamnern) whom he’d beaten in March.
Satanmuanglek didn’t get to show too much of his boxing as Phetnarin drowned him in the clinch for much of the fight and got the decision. It is a shame for Satanmuanglek that there aren’t really opportunities to fight internationally for fighters his size. With his style, boxing experience and maybe starting to get a big old for the stadium scene at 26, he’d be ripe for a potential kickboxing career were he a bit bigger.
Other notable results:
Monday at Rajadamnern:
Wednesday at Rajadamnern:
Kiewpayak Jitmuangnont (red corner, #2 featherweight at Rajadamnern and Lumpinee) beat Kompatak Sinbeemuaythai (blue corner, #1 superbantamweight at Rajadamnern, #2 at Lumpinee) by decision.
Thursday at Rajadamnern:
Superlek Kiatmoo 9 (blue corner, #6 superfeatherweight at Rajadamnern) beat Rungkao Wor.Sangpapai (red corner, Champion superfeatherweight at Rajadamnern, #8 at Lumpinee).
Friday at Lumpinee:
Phetanuwat Nor.Anuwatgym (red corner, #9 lightflyweight at Rajadamnern, #2 at Lumpinee) beat Phetsirichok Janvitkorsang (blue corner) by decision.
(Fight starts at 51:00)
Pirapat Muayded 789 (blue corner, #1 lightflyweight at Rajadamnern) beat Sungfah Nor.Anuwatgym (red corner, #3 lightflyweight at Rajadamnern) by decision.