By James Goyder
Two undefeated Thai fighters tasted victory in Bangkok on Sunday afternoon although they did so in very different style. Super lightweight Atchariya Wirojanasunobol cruised to a one sided decision win over Joepher Montano while super bantamweight Chainoi Worawut blew away Yuya Nakamura in a round.
Atchariya was making the first defence of his WBC Asia 140lbs title. He is an awkward fighter who doesn’t move his feet much but relies on fast hands and head movement to confuse opponents, something that was immediately obvious in the opening round.
Montano started coming forwards more in the second stanza but the Filipino southpaw found himself on the end of quick combinations of arm punches that did no real damage but slowed his advances. At this stage Atchariya was very much in his comfort zone, easily evading his opponent’s attacks and landing regularly enough to win the rounds.
In the fifth Montano started to attack with more confidence but his wild hooks were often wild of the target while Atchariya was able to land straight punches against the southpaw with laser like accuracy. This was definitely the case in the sixth as the Thai repeatedly snapped his opponent’s head back with jabs and crosses.
Early in the seventh Montano landed a left hook upstairs, his best shot of the fight. But he couldn’t capitalize with any further offence and had his head snapped back with another straight right in the closing seconds.
In the eighth Atchariya appeared to be conserving energy and Montano landed some crisp 1-2 combinations of his own. Perhaps realizing he was well behind on the scorecards, the Filipino soon reverted to swinging wildly and had much less success with this strategy.
At the start of the ninth Montano landed a straight left and he started to attack with more purpose but Atchariya kept him at bay by hugging and holding. There wasn’t much action at the start of the tenth but the fight finished with the Filipino throwing power shots which mostly missed while the Thai peppered him arm punches.
Atchariya never really needed to get out of first gear and it was no surprise when the scorecards read 98-92 (x2) and 97-93 in favour of the Thai. He improves to 11-0 and retains the WBC Asia interim 140lbs title while Montano drops to 9-3-2.
If Atchariya’s performance was a bit pedestrian the same definitely could not be said of Chainoi Worawut. The former Muay Thai fighter faced a big step up in only his third professional fight as he took on a Japanese opponent who made his pro debut in 2012 and has claimed three regional titles.
Yuya Nakamura had originally been slated to face Saenganan Sithsaithong and would have been entitled to believe the inexperienced Chainoi represented an easier matchup. He would have been disabused of that notion inside the first 10 seconds when a right hand from the Thai wobbled him.
Chainoi continued to land hard left hands to the body and straight rights to the head but it was a left hook upstairs that put the Japanese fighter down midway through the round. The 21 year old spent the next 20 seconds teeing off on Nakamura whose legs had obviously gone, leaving the referee with no choice but to call off the contest.
Nakamura was still on his feet and unhappy with the stoppage but he was taking heavy punishment and it seemed a sensible decision. The Japanese fighter drops to 8-2 and sees his eight fight winning streak snapped while Chainoi improves to 3-0 and looks a good prospect at 122lbs.