By James Goyder
Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep Batters Koki Eto En Route to 12th Round KO in WBA Interim World Flyweight Bout
Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep succeeded where compatriot Kompayak Porpramook had recently failed by defeating Koki Eto to claim the WBA Interim World Flyweight Title. The 22 year old finished the brave Japanese fighter with a brutal barrage in the 12th round.
Despite enjoying a significant height and reach advantage Eto made no attempt to work from range, instead engaging the Thai fighter in toe to toe exchanges and looking to land looping hooks to the body and uppercuts to the head.
Yodmongkol kept a high guard and absorbed the vast majority of his opponent’s punches whereas Eto’s hands were low and he was consistently on the receiving end of short hooks and strafing right hands.
The Thai seemed to be getting the better of the exchanges and landing the cleaner punches and at the start of round six he followed up a hard straight right with a left hook which saw Eto stumbling backwards to take a ten count.
Even when he seemed on the verge of being stopped Eto never looked to cover up and defend, instead staying in the pocket and trying to counter but he had no answer for the power and accuracy of Yodmongkol
Another straight right hand from the 22 year old Thai left Eto on wobbly legs in the ninth and the following round Yodmongkol picked up the pace even further, strafing the Japanese fighter with straight right hands and rocking him with a left hook towards the end of the round.
In round 11 only the ropes kept Eto on his feet as he desperately hooked an arm out seeking support after yet another right hand knocked him backwards. Yodmongkol wasn’t interested in seeing the fight out for an inevitable decision win and went all out for the finish in the final three minutes.
He came out swinging straight from the bell and landed three hard right hands in quick succession followed by a right uppercut, Eto’s legs were gone but instead of covering up or trying to defend he attempted to fire back and paid the price when another straight right hand sent him stumbling and a right uppercut finished the job.
The Japanese fighter drops to 14-3-1 after suffering his second defeat in Thai soil. Eto deserves credit for his insistence on going out guns blazing and hopefully won’t suffer any long term effects after taking a lot of hard shots to the head, particularly in the championship rounds.
With his 27th straight win Yodmongkol improves to 33-2 and claims the first world title of his boxing career, albeit only an interim version of the WBA 112 lbs strap.