By Jake Donovan
Kompayak Porpramook picked up by far the biggest win of his 12-year career with a 10th round stoppage over Adrian Hernandez to win a junior flyweight strap Friday afternoon (local time) in Bangkok, Thailand.
The main event was non-stop action and a surefire Fight of the Year contender, keeping the intimate but rabid crowd in suspense throughout. Neither fighter gave an inch, with most of the action taking place in center ring and rarely at more than phone booth’s distance.
Porpramook was surgical with his right hand early on, as Hernandez ate them as if defense was strictly a rumor. The visiting Mexican was backed up against the ropes as his Thai challenger went on the attack, rallying the hometown crowd in the process.
The middle rounds saw Hernandez stage a huge comeback, refusing to fly halfway around the world just to hand over his title without a fight. The action continued to flow and excite the crowd, even as it was Hernandez who went on the attack, scoring with power shots upstairs. Porpramook was still connecting with frightening regularity, though now at the point where he was taking two to land one.
The change in momentum was not lost on the judges, as scoring through four rounds had the bout even at 38-38 on two cards, and Porpramook ahead 39-37 on the third card.
As Hernandez opened up his attack upstairs. Porpramook began to target the body. The tactic worked spectacularly, as it created the opportunity to score with right hands upstairs anytime the defending titlist adjusted his guard in attempting to protect his midsection.
Hernandez changed things up in the sixth, utilizing a jab to create some sort of distance between the two. Porpramook continued to stalk his foe, but struggled to slip the stick as Hernandez was able to set up combinations and implement an effective right uppercut into his attack.
Despite the Mexican’s best efforts to box, the fight eventually resumed to its brawling pace, as both fighters swung away in a potential Round of the Year contender.
The momentum spilled over into the seventh, with the two meeting at center ring and trading away. For the first time in the fight, Porpramook was forced to back up as Hernandez scored with long right hands and left hooks. The bout appeared to swing in Hernandez’ favor, only for the challenger to come roaring back in his version of a 30-second drill.
While giving away the round, the tactic worked as Porpramook enjoyed a huge eighth round that had the titlist in trouble for the first time in the fight. Non-stop power shots pulled the stocky Thai back within even on two scorecards through eight rounds and maintaining a two-point lead on the lone dissenting card.
The judges’ tallies were nearly rendered irrelevant in a free-swinging ninth round that saw both fighters wobbled and the crowd barely given a second to breath. Porpramook was swinging for the fences, connecting often enough to have Hernandez stagger into the ropes. Just when it appeared the Mexican boxer was ready to wilt, momentum swung back in his favor in a big way to end the round.
The sequence proved to be Hernandez’ last hurrah. The champion remained game throughout the tenth, but ultimately found himself outgunned. Porpramook sensed that the end was near and went for broke. A wicked body attack paved the way for a series of right hands which crashed down on Hernandez’ chin and temple, with enough power shots sending him crashing to the canvas.
A count was administered but waved off midway through when Hernandez attempted to rise but instead doubled over and pitched forward headfirst back into the canvas.
The crowd burst into a frenzy as Porpramook was announced as winner and new champion. The 29-year old advances to 44-3 (30KO). The win extends his current streak to 22 straight, though this bout serving as by far the crowning achievement of his career.
Hernandez heads back home to Mexico with his title reign and nine-fight win streak coming to a close as he falls to 24-2-1 (14KO).
His stay as champion was short-lived, picking up the belt in late April with an 11th round stoppage of veteran Gilberto Keb Bass. The lone successful defense came this past September, scoring a 2nd round knockout over Gideon Buthelezi.
Both bouts took place in his native Mexico, with Thursday’s fight marking his first loss beyond the borders of his homeland. Hernandez was previously 5-0 in the rest of the world, including a pair of wins in Japan which came early in his career.
In the televised co-feature, Pongsaklek Wonjongkam made the fourth successful defense of his second tour as lineal flyweight champion in unspectacular fashion, as a clash of heads barely 45 seconds into his bout with Hirofumi Mukai of Japan resulted in a technical draw.
On the eve of his 21st birthday, Yodmongkol Vor Saengthap (19-2, 10KO) treated himself to an early present in the form of his 13th straight win with a six-round unanimous decision over pro debuting Silapathep Lookmahathat.
The show aired live on Thailand Channel 7.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]