By James Goyder
Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat defended his PABA bantamweight title at Thonburi University in Bangkok this afternoon but he was pushed all the way by unheralded Filipino Alvin Bais who was unfortunate to find himself on the wrong end of a unanimous decision defeat.
Tabtimdaeng has been a professional fighter for an entire decade and first won the PABA 118 lbs strap in 2005. His last loss came at the hands of Roli Gasca in 2010 and Bais, who was stopped by Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in his most recent outing, was looking to become the second Filipino to defeat the experienced Thai.
From the opening round Bais discovered that he could land left uppercuts almost at will and this proved to be his most effective weapon throughout the fight. Tabtimdaeng started slowly but exploded into life in round two with two hooks to the body followed by a hard right hook to the head which landed flush.
Although Tabtimdaeng was pressing forwards the majority of his punches were finding the arms and gloves of the Filipino who seemed to be conserving his energy but would occasionally explode into life with crisp combinations and seemed to be the more accurate of the two fighters.
Bais was clearly on a mission to steal as many rounds as possible with fast flurries in the final seconds, a strategy he employed to good effect in round four, with a right cross-left uppercut combination, and round five, with a left hook to the body-left uppercut combination.
While Tabtimdaeng seemed at a clear disadvantage in terms of speed he was able to outwork the Filipino in rounds six, seven, eight and nine as Bais’s fast combinations became fewer and further between and he started to fade from the fight.
In the closing exchanges of round ten Bais demonstrated that he had merely been pacing himself by launching another late flurry for the benefit of the judges, a tactic he repeated in the 11th, when the ten second warning prompted a wild barrage of shots which were mostly blocked.
By the start of the 12th Tabtimdaeng seemed to think he had enough rounds in the bank to cruise to a decision while Bais looked light on his feet and was able to get in and out and score with combinations, in particular the left hook to the body-left uppercut which he had been finding a home for all afternoon.
The competitive nature of the fight was reflected by two scorecard of 115-113 and one of 116-113, all in favour of Tabtimdaeng who improves to 48-2 while Bais drops to 13-2 after suffering his second successive defeat on Thai soil.
Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat Tested in PABA Win Over Bais
By James Goyder