By Jake Donovan
Amnat Ruenroeng continues the rebuilding tour of his once memorable career, picking up his second straight Saturday afternoon in Bang Phun, Thailand.
The 39-year old Thai boxer remains far removed from his days as a flyweight titlist, reduced to undercard filler in picking up a six-round decision win over Philippines’ Brian Lobetania.
Scores were 60-54 across the board in favor of Ruenroeng, who fought remarkably poised in stark contrast to his free-swinging and overmatched challenger.
Whereas his past bouts could be tough to watch, Ruenroeng offered a much cleaner account of himself in what was his second fight in just over a month. Frequent clinching and clash of heads were replaced by a steady jab, which allowed the former titlist to score repeatedly with right hand power shots.
Lobetania—fighting on the road for the fourth straight time—employed a bizarre offensive scheme befitting his “Drunken” moniker. The 270year old repeatedly missed wildly with right hands of his own, leaving himself a wide-open target for Ruenroeng’s subdued attack.
The visiting Filipino enjoyed brief success late in the fight, but by which point he was already well down on the cards. The threat of a knockout never surfaced, although Ruenroeng managed to bully Lobetiania (13-7-3, 11KOs) in the sixth and final round, closing the show to the delight of the modest but appreciative crowd on hand.
Ruenroeng advances to 20-3 (6KOs), picking up his second win in a span of just under two months, a much-needed improvement from where his career stood at the start of the year.
Once a leading player in the flyweight division, the two-time Olympian for Thailand saw his career hit a wall in 2016. Best known for being the first to defeat Kazuto Ioka and three-time Olympic medalist Shiming Zou, Ruenroeng saw his 30-month flyweight title crash and burn in a 4th round knockout at the hands of John Riel Casimero, whom he controversially outpointed just 11 months prior.
The knockout defeat kicked off a stretch that saw Ruenroeng suffer three pro losses within four fights in a two-year span. The period also included a loss in the second round of the 2016 Rio Olympics, where he was one of three pro boxers to participate but looked every bit his 36 years of age at the time.
His current two-fight winning streak won’t exactly propel him back to the title level, but nevertheless provides a much needed confidence booster.
Also on the show, rising lightweight prospect Apichet Petchmanee improved to 3-0 (2KOs) with a 10-round win over Shota Suito. Scores were 100-90 across the board for the 29-year Thai newcomer, a former amateur standout whom has fought at an accelerated level of competition since turning pro just last October.
The card aired live on Workpoint TV in Thailand and streamed live on DAZN.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox