Former super flyweight titlist Tepparith Kokietgym remains in the hunt for a crack at another title run after turning back the challenge of Jecker Buhawe. The dimuninitive Thai boxer picked up his second straight win, scoring a unanimous decision after 12 rounds of action Friday evening in Ban Mi, Thailand.
All three judges scored the contest 119-109 in favor of Kokietgym, who now improves to 23-3 (13KO). Buhawe falls to 14-8-1 (9KO), having now lost six of his last 10 contests.
Kokietgym has taken the role of boxer since moving up to the contender stage, even well before his Dec. '11 title win over Daiki Kameda. The 24-year old looked the part in wins over Tomonobu Shimizu and Nubuo Nashiro, gaining traction as one of the best super flyweights in the world along the way.
Big things were in store for Kokietgym, only to suffer a major setback mere hours before 2012 came to a close. The Thai landed on the wrong end of one of the year's biggest upsets, suffering a shocking 4th round stoppage at the hands of Kohei Kono last New Year's Eve in Tokyo.
The loss snapped an 18-fight win streak, though he has now won two in a row. Friday's verdict was a return to old form, controlling the action throughout to maintain his pace for a second bid at a major title.
The bout aired live on Thailand 7.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox