By James Goyder
Kwanpichit OnesongchaiGym retained his WBO Oriental 112 lbs Belt with a dubious decision win over tenacious Filipino Jay-ar Estremos in Singburi today. The stadium announcer’s microphone failed when the scorecards were being announced but the Thai can count himself extremely fortunate to have retained his unbeaten record after being outboxed for much of the fight.
Kwanpichit came out cautiously working behind a stiff jab in the opening round but if this was the gameplan he abandoned it almost immediately, going toe to toe with Estremos in the second stanza in exchanges which the Filipino appeared to be getting the better of.
Estremos continually looked to land hard hooks and uppercuts to the body and head respectively and was able to easily elude Kwanpichit whenever the Thai fighter attempted to press forwards and score with any offence of his own.
By the sixth round Estremos’ high work rate and preference for throwing non stop power punches appeared to have taken its toll on the Filipino who opted to spend virtually the entire three minutes backing up and staying away from Kwanpichit.
It seemed momentum might have shifted towards the Thai, particularly when Estremo employed similar tactics at the start of the seventh but midway through the round he exploded into life, driving Kwanpichit back with hard hooks and uppercuts.
The pattern continued at the start of the eighth but Kwanpichit came back strongly, backing Estremo against the ropes and banging away to the body and head with a left hook landing cleanly and appearing to momentarily wobble the Filipino.
The next three rounds were uneventful with both fighters starting to visibly tire but Estremo had recovered sufficiently to mount another onslaught in the 11th which left Kwanpichit hugging and holding to try and buy time.
Kwanpichit came out with a flurry at the start of the 12th but didn’t have the stamina to maintain it and soon found himself back on the ropes absorbing some tired looking combinations from Estremo as the Thai crowd looked on in solemn silence.
It seemed the Filipino fighter had done enough to claim the lightly regarded WBO Oriental Flyweight Title on foreign soil but the judges disagreed. The scorecards are still not available at the time of writing so we don’t know what the margins of victory were.
The win takes Kwanpichit’s record to 25-0-2. He survived a scare last year when a fight he was clearly losing against Filipino flyweight Ben Mananquil was called off due to a cut and rode his luck once more to get past Estremos, who drops to 10-6 after this defeat.
Former Chris John victim Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo continued to work himself into contention for a second world title shot by stopping Thai journeyman Suor Carryboy with a left hook to the body in round three doing the damage.
None of Chonlatarn’s titles were on the line but a fifth straight win takes him to 49-1 while the 38 year old Suor drops to 9-10-1.