By James Goyder
Nop Kratingdaenggym remains undefeated after halting Waldo Sabu in six rounds Friday afternoon in Thonburi, Thailand.
The 24 year old Thai never looked in danger of losing although Sabu's footwork caused him a few problems. The defending PABA 122-pound champ spent much of the fight chasing the Indonesian around the ring and looking to land one big shot but the bout ended abruptly after the sixth round when the challenger quit on his stool.
The fight started slowly with the undefeated Thai overly reliant on his left hook, a strategy Sabu soon got wise to. The first two rounds were uneventful but in the third the Indonesian started to show more offensive ambition and was punished for it when he missed with a wild right hand and left an opening for Nop to counter with a combination of punches.
Sabu was doing a good job of circling away whenever the Thai succeeded in closing the distance and the fourth round saw a change of strategy from the champion. Having struggled to land anything of note against his fellow southpaw, Nop switched to orthodox and scored with several right hands which pierced the guard of the Indonesian.
Nop was switching stance seamlessly but Sabu continued to frustrate him with fast footwork, although he couldn't capitalize with any significant counters and when the Thai did succeed in closing the distance and getting to close range his opponent had to repeatedly resort to holding
It might not have been winning him any rounds but the strategy seemed to be working fine for Sabu until midway through the sixth when the Indonesian seemed to abruptly run out of energy.
Instead of running and holding he decided to plant his feet and throw bombs which made for the most entertaining exchanges of the fight.
Both men were swinging for the fences and, more often than not, missing but Nop's punches were coming much closer to the mark than his opponents wild and looping efforts. Unfortunately whatever was behind Sabu running out of steam in sixth round also caused him to quit on his stool before the seventh.
It's difficult to tell whether Sabu was hurt by a punch or simply didn't have the stamina to keep constantly circling away from Nop. Either way the Indonesian is now 7-5 after suffering only the second stoppage loss of his career while the Thai improves to 17-0 and retains his PABA 122 lbs title.
Article originally appeared on The Fight Nation