By Alexey Sukachev, Carlos Costa
Thai Wanheng Menayothin, also known by his birth name Chayaphon Moonsri, is one step closer to matching Floyd Mayweather's and Rocky Marciano's perfect records, after a unanimous decision win over tough Australia-based Tanzanian Omari Kimweri.
The fight had been fought in open air (a most common way of arranging events in Thailand) somewhere in Rayong.
Menayotthin retained WBC minimumweight title in process.
Menayothin, 31, started his pro career way back in 2007, and it took him almost eight years to fight his way through numerous non-title, minor title and warm-up affairs to get a shot at the world title.
Against WBC #4 Kimweri, he was making the seventh defense of his green belt. Kimweri, three years his senior, was fighting for a world title for the first time in his career. Interestingly, Kimweri was last seen in the ring in April 2016, when he got a highly unpopular split decision over Filipino Randy Petalcorin for the WBC Silver flyweight belt. However, he weighed under the 105lb limit in that fight, even though he has fought two weight classes above.
After a very close previous title defense against Melvin Jerusalem, Menayothin looked much better this time around. He applied his usual style by continuously stalking and pressing Kimweri. The Tanzanian answered asymmetrically, choosing mauling over boxing and fighting, which resulted in a very roughhouse affair. Kimweri was also deducted a point in round one for accidental headbutt, which produced a cut over Thai's left eyelid.
As rounds progressed, Menayothin's advantage became more visible, specifically in multi-punch exchanges, when Thai's punches were landing with more precision. Kimweri has never been rocked but was unable to overcome Menayothin's constant pressure. Scores were: 39-36 (x3) after four rounds, and 78-72, 78-72, 79-73 - after eight completed rounds. Kimweri made his last firm stand in closing rounds, but was unable to change anything. Meanwhile, the fight was fought mostly in clinches and wasn't a very entertaining scrap.
All three judges had it unanimously for the champion, though scores were announced in Thai. BoxingScene had it a bit closer than mid-fight scoring suggested: 116-111 - for Menayotthin, who improved his record to 47-0, with 17 KOs, and got his third decision win in 2017. Kimweri is down to 16-4, 6 KOs. Bruce McTavish was the referee.