By Ronnie Nathanielsz
World Boxing Council flyweight champion Pongsaklek Wonjongkam is ready to give Japan’s Hirofumi Mukai a rematch, which the inexperienced Japanese boxing has demanded following their title fight which ended in 47 seconds of the opening round at the 11th Infantry Regiment in Bangkok last Saturday.
In the process, the Thai champion appears to be avoiding WBO champion Brian Viloria and several other Filipinos who are ranked higher and are more experienced than the Japanese youngster.
Viloria told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that he wishes to engage Pongsaklek in a unification bout next year. Viloria is coming off a rousing 8th round TKO victory over former light flyweight champion and pound for pound fighter Giovanni Segura.
Whether Pongsaklek’s handlers will accept the Viloria challenge, or give the inexperienced Mukai a rematch, remains to be seen. Mukai was previously beaten by Filipino boxer Rocky “Road Warrior” Fuentes in an Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation title bout.
Mukai, with a record of only 5 wins and 1 loss with no knockouts, was given the title shot against Pongsaklek despite the fact that several other Filipinos besides Fuentes are ranked much higher than Mukai who is ranked No. 15 by the WBC.
Behind Fuentes, who is ranked at No. 3, are Milan Melindo at No. 6, Sonny Boy Jaro at No. 8, Froilan “The Sniper” Saludar at No. 10 and Richie Mepranum at No. 11.
Pongsaklek retained his title following an accidental clash of heads which opened up a nasty cut on the right eyelid of Mukai. The cut bled profusely.
The Bangkok Post reported that the ring doctor did not allow Mukai to continue “because the cut was so serious.”
The fight was declared a technical draw.
Pongsaklek said "It was clearly an accident." He added "I did not have a cut because it was my head against his face."
It was the second draw in Pongsaklek’s career against 83 wins and only 3 defeats with 44 knockouts. The 26-year-old Japanese was disappointed that his first title shot ended so soon because he had prepared for the fight for several months.