by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Oriental Pacific Boxing Federation flyweight champion Rocky " The Road Warrior" Fuentes who is rated highly by the four leading boxing organizations in the world is in great shape for his battle with former Thai Olympian Amnat Ruenroeng on Wednesday.
Fuentes who arrived with ALA Promotions vice president Dennis Canete and trainers Edmund Villamor and Michael Domingo in Bangkok last Saturday arrived earlier Monday in Nakhon Rachisima where the fight will take place at the Lippatapanlop Hall.
Canete said despite the four hour drive from Bangkok, Fuentes was in high spiirits and was "fine and in great physical condition with his weight at 113 pounds" which is just one pound over the flyweight limit.
Fuentes met his Thai opponent at a press conference at the Kiat Kreerin Boxing Gym 1pm yesterday while the weigh-in will be on Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. at the V-one hotel where Team Fuentes is staying.
The promoter is Thai Jimmy Chaichotchuang and Fuentes indicated Fuentes has been treated well.
Fuentes (35-6-2, 20 KO’s) fights for the title relinquished by South Africa’s Moruti Mthalane who refused to fight in Thailand and claimed the purse was roo small.
Filipino promoter, manager and former boxer Aljoe Jaro informed the Manila Standard that the negotiations for the title fight were completed in two days but that the winner would have to be “willing to fight No. 4 ranked Silvio Ilteanu in an optional defense.”
The 36 year old Romanian Ilteanu has a record of 14-6-1 with 6 knockouts and is ranked No. 4 while Fuentes is ranked No. 5 and Ruenroeng No. 7.
Olteanu pulled out of a mandatory title fight against Mthalane in October in Germany with a hand injury thereby scuttling Mthalane’s fifth title defense after which Ruenroeng was appointed challenger in a fight that Mthalane subsequently turned down and relinquished his belt enabling Fuentes to earn a shot for the vacant crown against Ruenroeng.
The 34 year old Ruenroeng had an extensive amateur career during which he lost to the Philippines Harry Tanamor by a 16-8 margin in the World Amateur Championships in Chicago in 2007 where he won a bronze medal.
In 2009 in Milan the Thai was a quarter finalist before he went on to win a bronze medal in the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China , in 2010 losing to two-time Olympic gold medalist Zou Shiming by a score of 5-2.
Ruenroeng is undefeated with a record of 11-0 with 5 knockouts and is the reigning IBF Asia flyweight champion having won the title with an easy twelve round decision over perennial Filipino loser Michael Rodriguez in Ratchaburi, Thailand who had a pathetic record of 13-34-1.
Ruenroeng was clearly the more accomplished fighter prompting his promoter Jimmy Chaichotchuang to tell IBF executive Ray Wheatley he thought Ruenroeng was impressive and he is confident he would be a future world champion.
The Thai fighter gets his chance against Fuentes who, ALA Promotions Michael Aldeguer noted is a solid body puncher and has lots of experience fighting abroad, particularly in Japan and has defended is OPBF title successfully six times.
Aldeguer is confident that despite fighting in Thailand and facing a hostile crowd, Fuentes should fulfill his long standing dream of becoming a world champion.
Ruenroeng also won the IBF Asia Pacific title with a twelve round unanimous decision over another Filipino Julius Alcos on April 19, 2013 and in his last defense of the IBF Asia flyweight title won by an impressive 4th round TKO over Ricky Manufoe of Indonesia.